At The Grave On the 6th Anniversary of Your Death

I’m trying to ensure the candle stays lit.

It doesn’t really matter to you, though.

You’re just stuck in the ground.

It’s quiet in the graveyard.

But there are no birds. Just chirping

of some kind of beetle

that’s probably a pest of these stable evergreens.

It’s different every time I come here.

It’s heartbreaking all over again.

Today, I don’t feel like crying. I’m on

the verge. But again I’d be crying for me.

Your memories are not here. Here is only

the wind. The sadness. The choking.

I left a box of matches by your graveside.

They’re gone now, but the candle wasn’t.

It’s spider-webbed and empty.

I take it out and light a new candle,

the flame for your soul. Always

reaching upward. It will burn for 24

hours, the length of the day you were gone.

The stones on your grave are not perfectly round.

I’m not sure their shape is needed for the metaphor.

Is it something to feel pleased about, the amount

of stones more numerous on your gave

than the others around yours?

Does it prove how much more love you have contained?

What’s the world like without you?

I noticed the hardest thing about death is

The World Goes On.

People still smile. Bills need to be paid.

Your memories are now infused into my actions.

My love for baking is a commemoration,

a whisper of my longing to fill that

loneliness. Lately, I’ve been facing

the world. I’m more forgiving, yet

I’m also quick to anger. I observe the most

in silences. Here, next to your grave, I feel odd writing to you. Instead

of just saying it, out loud. But you are stuck, stayed.

I don’t want to forget.

So,

every time I bake bread,

I’m saying it out loud.

I read the Terry Pratchett books you once owned,

I’m saying it out loud.

I eat chocolate,

I repay a missing chocolate bar,

I eat wacky mac,

I survive. I think. I say, I provide, I give, I love, I repay your kindnesses.

I’m living your memory

Out loud.

English teacher by trade, story writer for fun