BY NANCY GUSTAFSON.
Roses from the wake bow their heads
and rest upon slender stems.
It's time to cut and press them.
Friends say that grief abates
but never goes away. Wait,
no decisions for a year, they say.
So, I am waiting till I can touch
the shirts hanging in your closet
without the flood that fills my throat.
In church I sit where we always sat.
I feel your weathered hand on mine,
my arm aligned against your jacket sleeve.
In early morning, I light a candle
by the crucifix, imagine you in your chair,
sipping coffee, fingering your rosary.
Evenings I pretend we are together
on the porch. We watch the sunset,
colors deepening behind the pines
and we, sipping our wine,
reluctant to move inside
till every bit of light is gone.
I follow you in golden light,
watch it bleed to rose, then gray
while I wait for the ending of this day.
Nancy Gustafson has published poetry, short stories and memoirs in anthologies and journals, including Stories of Music (Timbre Press), Time of Singing (Wind & Water Press), Child of My Child (Gelles-Cole Literary Enterprises), A Cup of Comfort for Inspiration (Adams Media), and Don’t Write Your Memoir Without ME! (Viga Boland). She lives in Huntsville, Texas, and writes to express her gratitude for her life, her family and friends, and her faith.