by Camilla Hewson Flintermann
Pared to essential skin and bone you lie,
slowly withdrawing, leaving us behind.
A final act of courage will, and love
is what's required to set you free at last,
and so you do not eat. It is your choice.
A strangely heavy box holds what is left
after the cleansing of consuming fire.
I hold it close, but find I am unmoved—
you are not there, for you could never be
reduced to ash. I feel you at my side,
just out of sight, and yet as close as breath.
You are not here— and yet your spirit clings
to mine, as once our loving bodies clung.
I know your love surrounds me night and day
and wake to think I heard you call my name.
I wear the ring you wore so many years—
and sleep, exhausted, drained of all my tears.