tagErotic PoetryTo November I Said Goodnight to Gracie

To November I Said Goodnight to Gracie

byJames Cody©

I

The Wake


A table covered in
Cold
Meats and chilled salads.
Silence snaking its way
Between mourners coveting
Their
Share.

Families within a
Family; they try to
Remember while
Children
Dance. They stare and
Poke
The body. Why is she cold, like
So much
Dead
Meat? Parents want to
Forget the answer. They
Remember
Friends like Jack Daniels and Smirnoff.
Surprise if they don't remember
Anything
For awhile.

The dearly departed
Lies, dead, and is complemented
On her
Wardrobe.
Faces stare at her
More intently now than when
She was
Warm.
In a tradition of
Memories and
Stories,
Tears are a confirmation of
Immortality.

As children
Play
And relatives drink
Away,
The dead rots in a casket
More expensive than her
First car.
In a wake, everyone
Dies
A little more; links fade away
When memories are building
Bridges
Between families.

I'm the last person to
See her and drink in her
Name.
I'm not family; I was her
Lover and her
Listener.
Families cry in their drinks.
I cry in my
Hands.

When I leave the wake, I don't
Say her
Name.
I say
Goodbye.


II

Waiting for Dawn

A lady smiles in
My dreams. She wakes
Me.
It's 6 A.M. The
Night's darkest thoughts are floating
Over wary sleepers.
She always gets me
Up, right before my last
Nightmare.

I think she wants to see
Watch the
Sunrise
With me. But she's never
Here.

I never sleep on
Her side of the bed.
Sometimes,
When I reach over for
Her,
The bed is warm.
I always do that
Right before dawn;
The drapes are open and
The first rays of
Sunlight
Caress my
Hand.

The sun
Peaks over the
Horizon.
I stand
Naked
In its light.
Her memory shines as
Brightly as
The sun does on
My face.

I don't know how
Long
Her memory will
Stay with
Me;
But I do know
That the sun will
Rise
Every day.

Who knows what will
Happen
When I forget
Her.

I'll probably be, finally,
Her memory.


III

Goodnight Gracie

Grass, weeds, and
Ants
Crawl out of the
Spaces between the
Cement slabs of the walk;
It meanders among the
Moss-covered
Headstones.

I'm older now, or maybe
Nature is just
Getting younger.
The sun still rises;
I still remember her;
I want to say goodbye.

It's hard to find her grave.

I don't know
What I'm going to say.
I never looked back at
Her wake;
She's never left my dreams;
How do I say goodbye
To
A memory that protects me
From the bad dreams?

But I'm just so tired.

I finally find her
Resting place.
It's near a small
Stream
That divides the cemetery.
The water is pure,
Like she was, once.

It's getting dark;
Days are so short in November.

The ground is moist
When I kneel.
I lay a single posy to
Rest
By her headstone.

"Hello lover."
A single tear down my
Cheek.
"But your not,
Are you?
memories and dreams of
Good times past. But
The
Main word is past.
I'm close to falling in love
Again. Of starting to
Live."

But
The dead
Don't hear words.
I don't even know if they hear
Prayers.
They just stay
Dead.

"So long lover.
Your memories are my
Grief.
But my love is my
Life.
And as life
Changes,
So does love.

I caress
The posy. Let my
Tear fall where her
Lips
Would be.

I leave her in peace.

Saying goodbye...

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