He is left with
of father’s cold hand; no recognition
as he held it, no tensing muscles to test themselves
against the child.
of his mother’s shoes
clicking upon the hard floor as she hurried
to call absent sons.
of disinfectant, a faint whiff
of father’s final sweat after the last battle
of tears sliding down cheeks
and touching lips - a Christmas morning kiss
of a face known intimately,
as remote as a rainbow; no strident farewell
can cover the distance.
looking out the large square window,
sunlight pushing through the clouds, like raised swords,
then the sparrow
landing on the outside
ledge, cocking its tiny head
as if looking for the next passenger to carry
In his mouth,
the charcoal taste of dry words,
withheld, now black and useless to ears
that vibrate into emptiness.