The Clothes

August 3, 2008

The clothes you wore are gone But not the person. You left us, but I still find you In the dim recesses of my memories As scenes from our shared childhood Flash across my mind.

Why should I feel sad about the clothes you wore? When I walked in that evening All I saw was the clothes: You had gone.

When what’s within is gone, The human body Is nothing but a set of clothes: Skin,limbs, teeth, hair… A discarded bag of bones. A flute without its music, a house bereft of its owner. How does it matter how the shells are disposed of? Empty cartons need to be thrown away.

So I’ll learn to be content With my memories….and not miss you. I’ll learn to be content With your presence in my thoughts….

I hope that my memories,too, Will not become faint With the passage of time… An aging brain Drops the clothes of its recollections And stands bare, or is sometimes absent.

Ultimately, the people we love Live within us. They do not have a past tense In our thoughts.

Why can the heart not accept abstractions Of death, loss, and bereavement That the mind can? Why do we need to hold on? Why can we not let go?