A Dead Man’s Pockets

by Yvonne Osborne

As sand falls from a sand dollar
on a windowsill miles from the seashore,
so do you at day’s end empty your pockets
of where you’ve been.

The years left their trace embedded in your gait
til there was nothing to drop on the dresser
but lint in the folds of your hanky.

Leaves weighted by rain drop from a gunmetal sky,
swirl and land on the freshly dug grave,
the mound of dirt unsettled and coarse,

unlike your face clean-shaven on the blade of the mortician.
Lids drawn over the sterling blue eyes,
tie straightened and mouth closed,
tight-lipped, as our father never was.

The mouth isn’t right, my sister whispered
as the kneeler wobbled under our connected sorrow.
I checked his pockets, like a child for a coin,
climbing on a lap, cool, deep, and empty.

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