In loving memory of Ronald Brooks.

Originally published in In Other Words.
Honorable mention,
ByLine Magazine‘s 2006 “Poem of Loss” contest.

(What’s in the box?) “He was”
(It all came down) “a good man.”
“He will be missed.” (to a case –)
(The case he’s in?) “He’s in heaven,” (No.)
“He’s in heaven now.” (A case of writer’s block.)

“He just wasn’t –” (I started)
(crying) “–wasn’t the same,”
“wasn’t the same afterward.” (, but before that)
“You’re lucky.” (I started)
(to write him a story) “He wasted away.”
“You’re lucky you didn’t see him in the end”
(Never tell me that I’m lucky because of that.)

(It’s the last thing) “Who would want”
“to keep him” (I would) “suffering like that?”
(have wanted to see.) “He can’t feel” “anything now.”
“He gave you” (I wanted to give him)
(my love) “all his love.” (in a story.)
“Who would want” (I wanted)
(him to read it) “to keep him suffering?”
(, and smile through his pain.)

“You –” (Got a case of writer’s block)
(just before he died.) “you’ll be fine” (Like they know…)
“Your suffering,” (I caused it)
(the moment) “it’s ended too.” (I put my pen down.)
“He knew that you loved him.”
(I loved him, and he died when I turned my back on him.)

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