…now always make me sorrowful.
Deaths and Dyings,
Separations, hard times,
the end of anything.
People who say, “He is in a better place.”
any lie religious people tell.
I went today to a half-grave
since this is what you do
when you are a grief stricken lunatic,
down in an old, old cemetery,
set in the middle of a Texas town
me and mine learned to love
a long time ago.
Today was the Opening Day of the Major League Baseball Season.
You know, the sport they have to play every day
you cannot explain it in a week,
or even in a season.
I wanted to spend some time at his half-grave today
to tell him about Opening Day
and about being safe on base
and, then, coming around to home.
He is such a little guy,
someone (his Dad? His Grandpa?)
had picked all the weeds and dandelions
placed fresh, new sod
over his little space.
There is a tiny boy
beneath the sod,
below the dirt
under the lid
of a tiny box
all around with a blanket
his Nana made him.
(can you feel
how hard it is to
feel like this,
write these things,
see through tears,
order my fingers
to stop their trembling
and do their job,
just to get a breath?)
in his little coffin,
wrapped up with him,
is a belt buckle
from fifty years ago.
I won it in a Play Day Rodeo
one night in a dirt arena with a shabby fence.
I got it for staying on a horse when my boots got stuck in the stirrups.
I had to hang on the poor horse
until the clown rolled a barrel in front of us
and said, “Let go. Let go. Your ride is done.”
My hands bled through the gloves I borrowed,
and I never got on rough stock again.
The buckle got old and tarnished,
and like the little boy never got to be.
My son put the buckle in his son’s coffin last July.
Now, all the things that make one sad
make me sorrowful.
The little boy melted all my reserve,
opened the tear ducts
melted the ice people told me I had in my veins.
“Let go. Let go. Your ride is done,”
I hear someone call out from fifty years ago.
I will let go. I want to let go. I will let go.
The first minute I can, I will let go.