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Night skies pull in suffocating quiet
Darkness lies on my chest like a sheet
Pushing down on my face and lungs
Labored breathing the only sign of life
Exhaling into a silence of rigor mortis
Silence that reminds me you are gone.

Our partnership ended by death’s call
Your attendance a mandatory requirement
My observance without any remedy
And, although we lived long, loving lives
Death still strangles the survivor’s heart
Burying life’s rhythm into the grave
Making death the headliner for this drama.

Loneliness, a poor substitute for flesh and bone
Holding you instead of you caressing
Sapping happiness like a flower without water.
One of death’s soldiers doing his job well
Keeping my faith at low tide
Brackish memories that dull my thoughts.

I do remember you being here
Our laughter, arguments, holding hands
Kissing you at eighty-three - people smiled
But, tonight, missing you is my reality
My spirit is bruised by this emptiness
Selfish on my part, but honest self pity.

Like Lazarus, I wish God would raise you
Making the night shades of death retreat



God might entertain taking me.

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Chris Stienstra from Millbury, Massachusetts writes, “I wrote this poem after my step-mother passed away. My dad was telling me how much he missed being with her, and I could not help think that, although lonely, he had felt love with someone very special. This one is for you Hazel.”