smile, shall i

you've left this world, twelve years have gone by now.
i've forgotten the sound of words as they left your mouth.
i've forgotten how your arms squeezed tightly about me,
and i've forgotten what it was like when you were here.
where memory of your touch or smell or sound has failed me,
as i've grown much older, and details have disappeared,


there's still a few things, i remember of you.


i remember the strength you had once carried,
something no person nor sheet of metal could rip from you.
i remember the devotion towards those you held dear,
and how you kept a shoulder open for them, always.
i remember the compassion, the empathy, and the love
that drew so many into your arms and into your heart.


and i remember words that had been left behind in ink
and preserved upon paper in sweeping blue script.
how these words held meaning and weight on white backdrop.
how they inspired its reader to embrace hurt or love or peace.
you were gone by then, when i first held your poems in hand.
my gaze traced along each page and i was moved to do the same.


words upon paper now keep you close, in mind and heart.
every moment i sit and nouns and verbs and others spill out,
your memory and spirit feels all the more present beside me.
though you are gone, you've left me with an eternal gift.
a connection to you, with each syllable, with every paragraph.
with every unstructured and improper poem i may write.


your gift created rifts in my world to expand into others,
to explore different realms and to dig into thought and action.
what childhood i felt i'd lost when i lost you given back to me
with every chapter and every verse i think of and record.
with this being said, i'd like to pause here, for now,
so i may remember one last thing about you, jessica.


while i remember your poems, and your compassion.
while i remember your playful scoldings to our brothers.
most importantly, to me at least, of all of these memories - 
i remember so clear how you smiled and how you laughed.
jessica, as i was never able to at age seven when we lost you,
i want to thank you not only for the inspiration to write,


but for the inspiration to have the strength to laugh and
continue to smile, despite what hell life may throw at me.

This poem is about: 
My family


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