I wish you’d left in summer

This mother’s heart dies back a little every fall

If you’d left when all was blossoming & burgeoning

I don’t think I would have felt your leaving

not even half as much at all.


The sound of your guitar at midnight

Simple chords that showed a young man’s heart

where tenderness lay waiting to be wakened…

There’s nothing now but silence in the dark.

But I’ll not miss the moody swings of temper

that left you brooding silent here for days

Nor the greasy tools upon the kitchen counter

and a handprint on the towel stays and stays.


It’s the sunny boy beneath that bears remembring

Blowing candles on his cake when he was 5–

and singing in a storm-swayed leafy treetop

My heart will keep those memories alive.


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