The Condolence Call

 

I cradle the phone gently.

You are so far away.

 

Your grief surrounds you now

like a moat full of dark water.

 

I cannot reach

far enough to comfort you.

 

My words flit around, useless

as flies.

What, after all, can be said?

 

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, you say.

 

I imagine I would have howled.

I imagine I would have rolled on the floor.

But in the end, I cannot begin to imagine.

 

I’ll be okay, you say,

 

but your voice is so remote,

as if you’ve left us all

behind,

for a bleaker planet

 

where the air is charred,

and you cannot find the path

that leads

back home.