When I Died

When I died I fell face first into the snow, oh, the icy crust, the millions of tiny crystalline knives.

When I coughed my lung’s bright blood upon the blanket of white, I realized I would never see her again.

When I realized I would never see her again, I willed my heart to beat, though powerless to have it beat forever.

When my breaths slowed, stopped, and when my heart faltered, stopped, and when my eyes closed, I willed my soul to join another …

And he fell, and another, and he fell, and another, and she fell, and half-a century later I live, a mist, a memory, a dream desired, a hope unrealized.

And yet, I love, and yet, life offers me hope, if only in the most fleeting moments.

Once we lay beneath an oak. It was an ancient thing, gnarled and gray-barked, branches hanging low over the wide river, leaves twisting in the daytime breeze, whispers of young love’s yearning desire.

And natures faint aromas, the gray smell of water on the air, leaf mold and earthy hints of times past, and her hair, as if she rinsed her silky strands with morning rain captured just for her within the petals of a rose.

And at night, oh, at night, beside the fire, millions of stars, constellations, a meteor’s dim minute streak, the oak’s leaves aflutter, matching moth’s wing beats around a lantern.

The stuff of dreams, the dreams of hope, soft whispers, softer kisses, love’s final goodbye.

When I died.

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