Tune My Heart

For Dillon: On the occasion of what would’ve been his 44th Birthday

by Jack A. Urquhart, Copyright 2023

Occasionally, two or three times a year,
I tune my heart to the memory of your face
to the sound of your voice, to the sly,
crooked angle of your grudging smile
And sometimes you come in loud and clear
your half-assed, fake anger broadcasting
some oldie but goodie, egregiously insulting,
clear as a fifty-thousand-watt station
on a cloudless day:
“You’re nothin’ but a big old whore!”
I hear you bray again, loud enough
for the whole neighborhood to appreciate
in splendiferous ROFLOL style.
But other times, there is only the painful static,
of your complete and utter silence.
They say the power of a loved one’s absence
fades with time until, like a canyon echo
the reminders coming ’round again,
diminish with each reverberation
But I think it’s only that we’ve become
harder of hearing, our attentiveness
damaged by the decibels of everyday life.
Until we become deaf and numb
And finally, in tune with absence,
just another voice in the ether–
competing for attention.
Waiting to be remembered–
As I remember you.

About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in Washington State.
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