Away but not so

I curl upon myself at night, because you are not here to wish me well.

I unbend at dawn but you are not here with a greeting that will soothe me throughout the day.

What is this?

How can a mind bear such a burden yet remain whole?

Not what it seems

My heart failed me, when your casket, rather the cheap box that would burn quickly, slowly went into the flames.

I knew you were not hot, warm or cold. You were long gone-seconds, minutes, days.

I was the one there, burning.  Face pressed against the cool imitation marble walls, in the nook around the corner. I could not sit on that hard bench, purposely set just so, allowing for the bereaved to still feel engaged yet not actually see the casket go into the flames.

I heard it. The subtle grinding of the gears.

We all do, even through our weeping.

It sounds the joints of the aged, as they creep on, stumbling towards the Bethelhem in their heads.

Trees leaning inward

Once you were born, I walked through the park until I found two trees that were growing closely together.

I watched those trees. The younger of the two grew rapidly, as you did.

A storm came one morning, unbidden and unsought. The winds pushed the smaller tree until it cracked.

Not long after, it fell to the earth. Silently.

As you did.

The other tree, left alone in a formerly beautiful space, is beginning to wither.

I walk around it and wonder: how long?

Some walk around me  as well and silently wonder those same words.

All within the turning of one year

She had hung frozen and stiff, waiting for something to occur. For the frost to melt or the ice to crack. Hoping to embrace even a minute change.

Instead, the ice grew inwards, deeper than could be seen. Cutting into her tender organs, disrupting the flow of her blood. All the hurt turned around and wore at her insides, the way the uncaring sea whittles down the hardest rock.

Others knew something was wrong–but not exactly what. She looked slightly odd, just a bit too sad. Her smiles were fleeting and her words would trail off, leaving huge spaces at the end of her sentences. Gaps only filled with her wary and wounded eyes. They plead for something that no one could give.

She finally saw what others only guessed at: hair brittle and falling from her itchy scalp like manna from Heaven, skin eruptions that caused her to wear long sleeves in the summer heat, aches and pains and bruises from a body shrieking under the weight of all she made it bear.

Only did she receive relief in her dreams. As she slept, she slipped off to be with him and there, at his side, she was whole, healthy, unbroken. Glowing like she was a newborn, sleek as the dawn of Spring.

Only then.

When she opened her eyes, she fell back in her itchy skin and felt the pain of grief that was eating and gnawing her heart. Sharp teeth and tiny claws, kicking and scratching. Incessantly scraping, filling her ears with tiny whispers and  piteous whimpers.

It must come out. But it might take her sanity with it, as it breaks free and flies free on the confines of her skin.

What then will she be? Who loves a husk?