They say it was quick, her passing,
but he knows better, his young daughter
was never one to be rushed, toddled
in adolescence, dallied with mollycoddling.
They say she didn’t suffer, died instantly,
but he knows better for her presence lingers
between door and stair at each gloaming;
despair has claimed the echo of a home.
They say it is a rare occurrence,
But he kows better because she lived
her life that way, each moment serendipitous,
as though moths and clouds were extraordinary.
They say that her brain bled, an injury,
But he knows better, it was his world
that drained out instead and he searches
spotless floorboards for one trace of red.
They say life goes on, loss will lessen,
but he knows better as he ages, terminally,
grief lurks like a ghost that only he sees.
*Dedicated to the friend of a friend, whose daughter died suddenly due to a subarachnoid hemorrhage after a soccer game. There was no warning. She collapsed in her father's arms at the foot of their staircase. Somehow this painting reminded me of his sorrow, the unfathomable loss he bears.