The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
My flesh peeled by grief,
I ached pale bones until the moon went out,
and did not return,
did not even leave the keys on the empty-drawered dresser.
You were gone, gone, gone
long before you actually left,
casually crawling into that horrid plain box
they planted you in,
no sun to bronze you anymore,
no stone to mark your absence.
They moved what was left of me into a small room
where you could not fit,
no matter how I tried to slide you in
as a stolen memory, barricaded from view.
You were unceremoniously evicted
from your rightful place in my heart
and it was too broken and I was too lost to find you.
They tore up the only map I had.
They fed me lies with every meal
and I swallowed them whole,
thinking it was sustenance instead of the poisoned apples
they grew in the backyard especially for me.
They shredded your canvases and sold the frames
so I could not speak of how bright your colors once were.
They gave me a box of crayons, all gray,
and told me to draw what I could recall.
The page was blank on purpose.
I refused to elaborate on anything they only wanted to burn.
I kept my sorrow deep and hid the shovels
from their greedy, grasping fingers
so I would one day remember to forget
we never said goodbye.