My friend and neighbor Bob and I usually get into some kind of philosophical discussion over dinner. He usually comes to dinner on Mondays but he’s snowbirding at the moment so I get a few months off from trying to cook the healthy stuff he needs to eat. A few weeks ago he was talking about visiting the graves of friends and relatives who have gone on to the next plane. He said “I know they’re not there, but it’s like the last place they were, and it helps me to focus on ‘visiting’ with them.” We both knew a sonnet was inevitable from that conversation.
Standing at your grave
Standing at your grave, you are not here.
Though bone or ash remains, your spirit’s flown;
and yet I came to visit one who’s dear
but taken flight. This, your departure lounge,
a hollow hall where I can stand and wave
and visit memories you left behind.
It’s mostly when I stand here at your grave
the things you were come easily to mind
for me. I know you wait ahead
with your side of the story that we are.
I’ll finish mine and see you when I’m dead,
where there’s no time and distances aren’t far
But now, beside your grave, I miss your face
and wish somehow you were here in this place.