Christina A. Sharik

(For Bev Haire, and her Richard)

I face an empty coffin
with a heavy, saddened heart
I’m supposed to put aside the past
and make a fresh new start –
But that is not the way it works,
it’s not so easily done
when there’s no one in the casket,
no one’s father, no one’s son.

I know what’s in the casket
is not the essence of the man,
the only thing that keeps me sane
is that I think I can
I can go on with living,
I can keep his memory whole.
I may bury teeth or fragments
but I can always keep his soul.

The box goes into hallowed ground
the memory’s mine to keep…
although I can’t have all of him
he’s with me when I sleep.
I’ll guard the part of him I knew
his laughter and his smile……
I don’t face the empty coffin all alone.
He’s with me all the while.