A container of ashes,
a series of black and white photographs,
a blue t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt,
a notebook full of faded scribblings,
a collection of ticket stubs,
a travel sewing kit,
a chain mail bracelet--
The remains of a truncated life.
These artifacts are all I have left of you.
I cradle them in my hand or mind,
and inhale deeply
as if I could extract your essence from them,
and I might breathe you back into being.
As if they could bring me one tiny step closer to you,
and we might once again walk the same path.
As if they could permit me to hold onto you for just a bit longer,
and I might hug that bony frame of yours.
Alas, you no longer inhabit my world.
All that remains are the things you held close
and the memories I now clutch to my breast.
For my son, Ryan, who would have been 22 today.
I miss him dearly.
Until next time...