The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
As he turned to go, he whispered
"I can never write you whole" —
it was spoken through perforations of history,
those ragged splinters cleft between two hearts.
their stitchings ragged with effort and futility —
one last thought offered
before the wretched sinking
beneath the waves of a drifting hand,
a quiet "fare thee well",
a final letting go.
The old oak door closed heavily,
a soft click of the lock, its punctuation —
silence sat in the corner,
its head bowed. Nothing moved —
not even shadows.
The sea had never seemed as subdued,
nor the rain as tender, as those first days and nights
without his presence filling this small room.
His coffee cup sits on the counter,
waiting to be warmed
("please, just once more"),
to be held between his rugged, sinewy hands
as he stared through the window
at what lay beyond,
somewhere out there
where I could never go,
where he knew I would not follow.
Sometimes in the morning,
before consciousness fully arrives,
I reach across the empty bed for him,
forgetting he is gone —
and then memory and gravity return,
clutching my fingers.