In the Museum of Your Last Day
but no pillow.
A storage basket with broken binders
and unopened packages of lined paper.
The pencil case you fill every September
but never use.
Your dress shoes,
upside down by the closet.
Folded paper squares
rain weed when I open them.
A worn backpack that belongs to Thomas
who doesn’t want his parents to find his bong.
Scraps of the Vonnegut biography
I bought for you. Benign remnant of your rage.
Empty boxes of pizza pops.
Socks rolled like potato bugs.
The clothes you didn’t stuff into that duffel bag.
The winter jacket you didn’t know you might still need in April.
Ashes along the windowsill.
A burn mark on the wall beneath it.
The screen you removed so you can climb onto the roof.
Most of this I empty into several garbage bags
the first day you are gone.
The rest I leave. Intend, some time, to set right.
After your true last day. If we ever learn when that is.
Man Alone by Anya Holloway
I have been here – with a daughter, not a son – but the ache, the worry, and the surreal feelings are likely the same. I never had the courage to take those feelings into poetry.
Thanks, Claire, for having the courage to respond here. I wish you strength.