Were it not for the grief, this morning’s snowfall
would be all grace and beauty — one final blessing
from he who loved the snow so much — that very same he
we buried last night in his favorite spot on the hill —
the full solstice moon shining on our sad labor.
Oh yes, were he here, he would be outside rolling
in the good, white coldness, leaving his imprint in the snow
as he moves on to the next fresh spot to make another —
each one exclaiming “joy was here.”
Outside the snow falls as thickly and quietly as our tears
as we held him, and loved him through the final car ride
and the final breath, and inside, the house is peaceful, quiet,
as I walk from room to room, relearning the place without him —
the top of the stairs, without him,
the rug by the front door without him
the still-full water bowl and food dish
which I might just leave on the kitchen floor forever.
Later today, I will find the strength to go outside and I will do
the only thing there is to do which is to try to love the world
as he did, for how else could it bear the agony of turning
without the one who loved it best of all.
And I will make a snow angel for Brother, then another,
and another, until the yard is a quilt of angels
shouting back at the snowing heavens, “joy is still here.”
Somewhere up there a great spirit is heading home,
and my tears will fall like the snowflakes, no two alike —
each one a different way for saying good-bye —
and that warrior of love will turn his head back toward me one last time
and then move on, knowing that his golden work is done.