The oak in his garden is weeping.
Her tears lie on the brown Bermuda,
waiting for him to return.
I touch his trees, but have no names for them.
He has taken all names and left me with
an empty gaping heart.
Chaos is returning.
The cherry tomatoes and Johnson grass we
battled so long ago are laughing now.
Metal stakes, bits or rope,
and an ancient, broken kitchen knife are
testaments to the battle.
The mockingbird and jay call to the crickets and chimes,
“Where is that man in baggy pants and spotted
shoes whose movements we know so well?”
Hiding, I cry. Hiding here among the holly,
here among these browns and grays.
You don’t see him now, but Spring will come,
and then you best beware.
In ICU he became the battle.
He was the soil they fought for,
and I felt the airport rattle with the warfare.
I touched the glass and felt his fear,
but also the joy as he was released.
His voice touching my ears through the din.
I go now to the creek bed,
where I once searched for crawdads and something more,
and listen to the water wash the limestone.
“Do you hear that? Do you feel the wind touching my face?”
I have become his eyes.
They are burning in me now.
I touch his earth, move among his world,
desperate to hold him to the place he loved,
and am left knowing only these simple words.
He will always dwell; deep, deep in our soul.