Rituals

Barbara Edler

Last year a knock on the door
Woke me from an uneasy slumber
Believing you were coming home
I never dreamt I would find
Two officers at my door
Eventually informing me
You were never coming home

Now I wake to a numbing weight
Daily exercising my best to bury it deep
Reminding myself to love
To forgive; to live with purpose
To believe you’re in a better place
Carefully I straighten a homemade ornament
Cherishing it more than ever
Because at its center is
Your brilliant child’s face

Now the day begins with
Wearing a necklace with your fingerprint
Dreaming of hearing your musical voice
Singing, “Oh, Mama Mia.”
Imagining your warm embrace
Wishing I could have
Eradicated your demons
To have wrapped you so tightly with my love
That you would have never chosen to leave

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