Don’t let go

by Melanie Holmes

A thousand miles away,

too much awry,   

your heart broke.

An aortic tear.

Walls built and broken

kept you home.

No call for help.

Two years after Ritter.

Rules ignored. 

I found the note,

your best guess,

how long it might take.

Your birthday loomed,

not soon enough. 

You turned fifty-one,

hours after you died. 

We were supposed to talk to you.

Not about you

to strangers.

We bought a casket

for your birthday.

Unopened cards in your mailbox. 

Condolences in ours.

In life, you won.  

Our love. Our respect. 

In death, you taught us.

Don’t let go.