Presence & Absence

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By Catrice Greer (Courtesy Photo)

By Catrice Greer
Special to the AFRO

In this space, your voice hangs on the dew
In this space, your voice paints the walls
And our home is new
Now that you’re gone

Ornaments and tinsel dangling on needles
Everything seems like it could fall
Any minute
A deal with gravity to hold us up
Keep us together
Whole
All of our pieces floating in a space
We can’t quite touch
Sobbing that never seems to get deep enough, to
Push out the grief that strikes

But there is the silence
And it comes
Step by step
Benumbed
Soft and muted
Wraps us in a cloak
And says
‘There, there
All is well’
And suddenly, I can stand one more day
In this space lighter by the memories
Heavy by your absence, trapping our brittle bones
Frozen in time and in place

I break down crying
Sighing knowing

And it comes, again
Step by step
Cloaked and warm
Wrapped in love
And all of our pieces settle in place
Step by step
We go
Slow, robots
Walking backwards to go forwards
and one day it will all make sense

Ornaments and tinsel gleaming shining
In space
Holding it together
Making peace with each hook and clasp
Letting gravity decide
Gentle memory by memory
I let go

And your face shining in the reflection
Back at me
We reside there together
A knowing
A peace
And we rest
Here, there, nowhere.