reins

Faded petals

I can’t keep them sitting on my bench indefinitely

they are browning at the edges in their unhappy waters,

and drooping

but somehow

I’ve emptied the vase

and the sorrow hits me hard

that now there’s nothing left to do but to

retake the reins of life

and it seems like

it’s over

move on, move along, nothing to see here

But if I look closely,

there’s everything to see here:

how you lived,

with faith that flew in the face of life

what you taught me of openhandedness

how doubt and tenacity and love and desperate hope

lock hands in the gale

it isn’t over because you’ve passed

it’s a new chapter in the book

each crackling page lignin-edged and thumb-pressed

you made your entry,

with hands that shook betimes

but wrote of love

and overcoming

you breathed your last shallow here

and your next in the sun

and I will too

though my sun here pales beside yours

and I must retake the reins

whether I will or no.

For Lloyd

1/11/41-19/2/15

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