Red Clay

Along the old familiar street
one porch light is out
of this old familiar house,
the globe on the left
is flickering & dim.

Up the stairs with soft, quick steps
I know she’s awake,
and she is, sedated.
It’s been a long day coming,
the Doctor spoke of this.

I put my arms around her shoulders,
her paper skin and shaking frame
Her voice is low and tender, seeking.
I say– No need, Ma, no need.
I’ll see you in the morning,
Goodnight, go to bed.

The night is easy and passes
like any other, without.

The early morning, cold and bright
the house asleep and drugged and dreaming.
The garage is just how you left it–
tidy and traced with old red clay,
the forgotten dirt of forgotten works.

My turn at last, to dig for you
your bones are my bones
no addendum but this life, mine,
and yours, at last, to rest.


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