Ellen, in the winter after her death
I suggested that we share a smoke after dinner
An honor to your memory; a remembrance of our love.
It was snowing outside and it reminded me of those Michigan winters that we spent together
cuddled up in your house,
watching old movies on A&E,
taking breaks during commercials
sneaking in those cigarette moments.
Such weather conditions are rare in the Pacific Northwest.
You'ld probably chide me for smoking. It was
Your bit of hypocrisy. One that I loved,
but never really understood.
“Don't do it because of me. If your want to smoke, then do so.
But don't because of me.” you'd say.
You cannot chide me, now.
Still, I hear your voice as clear as day and, though I disagree,
it still nags me and I put out the cigarette before it's time.
Before I do that, I watch the snow falling in the street light's illumination.
I begin a conversation with the love of my life about you, but she gets a phone call.
It's OK. It's alright,
That call gives me the time to think about you.
About how much I miss you.
I miss your voice.
I miss your thoughts.
I miss your chiding.
I tried to get you out here.
To see my/our place.
To spend time with me and the woman I love also
In the world that I've come to think of as paradise.
I wanted you to see my home,
to see my new town,
to see the mountains and the sea,
and, yes, bring your love, too and I'd be happy to share it with you both!
Was it so selfish to want to share that?
It doesn't seem so.
For this moment, I feel lonely. And I also feel comforted...your memory and it's voice rings in my head.
And I take a couple of drags on this fire stick and with them I bring you deeper inside me
And that brings me comfort and joy and a smile and some sadness.
How is your mother; only a month after your birthday?
Perhaps I'll write her and send her this poem.
You touched me dearly.
I'm glad to have returned a little joy to your life.
Thank you for bringing warm thoughts to mine on this cold, but lovely night.
I breathe those last words into smoke rings that float into the heavens.