It’s too soon to write a poem
about the way the waves sounded different
and I leapt from bed, pierced to the heart by the knowledge
that this was the first day of the rest of the days forever different.
It’s too soon to confess I stole your red plaid shirt
simply because I couldn’t bear to let the frayed fabric
hang limply on an abandoned hanger.
It’s too soon to listen for you
in the music you breathed like oxygen;
to hear your thick gentle fingers
stumble with reverence through Mozart or Beethoven
as I play the piano, two hands alone.
It’s too soon to tell the tale
of how I watched a loon dive and swim in the rising sun’s gaze.
And how, just as I turned to leave, it called out and halted me.
How I wanted it to be you, sending a sign from wherever you are.
It’s too soon to be comforted
by cognizance that any loon’s call
is a message from what will always be your world,
no matter how altered its landscape.
It’s too soon.
(for my father, October 23, 1995)