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.