All the things that make one sad…

…now always make me sorrowful.

Deaths and Dyings,

Separations, hard times,

the end of anything.

People who say, “He is in a better place.”

or

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

because

you cannot explain it in a week,

a month,

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

then

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

wrapped

all around with a blanket

his Nana made him.

Next

to

him

in

his

little coffin

(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,

oh,

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,

like me,

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.

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