On a Recent Winter Night

While I was driving home one evening this past year, these lines came to mind. Since this month is the 21st anniversary of my son’s death, I share them with you.


The snow is thick on the yews at the side of the house,
And your voice has faded into the aether of time.
Distant, like stars at a bitter midnight.

Capricorn and Cancer have done their solar dance,
Many times I say,
Since the vision of your face was fresh, in my mind, in my heart.

What am I to do?

The gentle sounds of your conversation must still be there,
In the woodwork of the halls, the down of the pillows,
The dust that covers your small long-idle possessions.

I cannot hear it.

My ears, my eyes, my brain are weak, frail things.

What is left?

Only hard stone, cold snow, that covers leaf and ground,
Like time covers memory and makes it disappear in blue distance.

Precious little.

2 Responses to On a Recent Winter Night

  1. Paul says:

    I remember a young boy about 25 years ago that I got to know my first year of law school. While my wife spent time with his mother, I played with Eric, teaching him ABCs with baseball terms. He tragically died about 4 years later, couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 when he died. It broke his parents’ hearts and mine. This year two friends buried their sons who died in their 20s. It’s always a tragedy when parents bury children.

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