You can wait 'til it's too late for visits. Light a candle by your bed and
watch how the light flickers. Think of times you've been together,
maybe times you shared a beer.
When I'd visit he would always have a word of cheer for me, take my
hand, and grip it warmly, though it might have been a year or more
since last we'd hugged each other.
Sometimes I would show him pictures of the places where I'd been and
sitting on the bed he'd wonder, "how's your Mom," or, "how's your
brother." Always he would be so grateful for the smallest little thing and
thank me, thank you, thanks for coming when we finished visiting.
I thought I saw the candle flicker just before I fell asleep, then dreamed
that it was he who travelled while I slept and breathed so deep. He went
before me gap-toothed, and hollow faced, this man with twinkle in his
eyes, for whom I'd smuggled garlic sausage and raw onion.
There he was out on the ocean,
gently rocking on the sea,
sunlight sparkled while he dallied
on his boat just big enough for three.
I heard a strike, the line went zing,
he hooked a big one, let it run,
and stood to see it flashing golden
in the evening's setting sun.
He played with it and when about
a half an hour or so had passed,
he brought that fish up to the boat,
gaffed it in and made a cast again
and soon another fish lay thumping
on the floor but still he stood
and when the third fish found its mates
there wishing for the deep blue sea, he
folded up his rod and said, "If someone
asks just tell them God and I've
Late that night I tossed and turned. While I'd slept the flame had
burned to cold and dark. There was no doubt - in early morning light
I saw - the flick'ring candl'd flickered out.