You never came even though you had a promise date. I imagined your face a tiny smooth circle of pinkish flesh. You slipped from us, disappeared in ash, when they tossed you on the dewy grass where the roses grow. I left you there for 11 years.
But the guilt of you made me restless to open wide the windows and to make new memories out of what could have been. But you flew out on the waves of your siblings’ laughter and on their quickening heights and goals and wrestling. Now I no longer see you, even in my dreams.
Still, you have not left us, not really. You’re a tree that grows in the shadow of our movements, a sapling in a high forest that we hike. You’re still silent and faceless, but we let the rain grow your roots. The mourning dove rests in other branches now, and when I see her there, I know that you were made for this.