TIM STALEY – I REMEMBER, LANCE, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU

I Remember, Lance, the Last Time I Saw You

Step by step the snow
through the window
of your dad’s study.

With empty space
you shake hands.
I asked if I could touch you.
Who was that meant to ease?

Before I left, I spoke to your mom
in the breakfast nook.
She told me what you told her
a few weeks ago, how you had to take
this last bend in the river
alone.

Now I’m scanning photo albums.
Looking for you beside a canoe or
deep in the wilderness down a trail,
your backpack leaning against a tree.

As smoke from a smudge
I come at you choking
the high corners of every room.
Does this comfort you?

~~~

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