©2019 by Jack A. Urquhart
(for Dillon from Dad)
Today is your birthday.
You would’ve been forty years old.
Forty! Imagine that.
Sometimes I do.
I imagine what you might’ve become,
And how you could’ve been healed,
the role I should’ve played.
I conjure the special person
whom you might’ve found,
and the life you could’ve shared,
the lives you might’ve sown.
I know there is no good in this.
And yet the mind will run wild.
It will try to imagine
what’s become of you now,
where you might be,
that fabled afterlife
of prophecy and pulpits,
tales told in tongues of men and angels.
All become as sounding brass,
now that you’ve gone beyond the noise;
now that you’ve vanished—poof!
into the great unknowable.
Only your ashes kept close bring comfort.
I am not ready to let the least of you go;
not ready to relinquish the unreal conditional You:
all the birthdays that might’ve been,
the “should haves” and “could haves”
that mark the returns of the day.