The dead do not come back
But as ashes
Even that has to be returned
To the elements
Leaving behind a howling wilderness
As if a twister
Had ripped away the roof and the walls
Showing you at whose pleasure you existed.
You can keep awake all you want
You will not hear anymore
His stealthy footfalls after a late-night movie
Or feel anymore the gentle tap
On your shoulder as you pretend to sleep
Accompanied by the secret whisper "mother, I'm hungry!"
The hockey stick rests impatiently in the corner
He will not pick it up anymore
To practise his dribbling skills
Inside the house
Ignoring his father's usual admonition
"Go out and play!"
Why can't we be still waiting for him to return
From a night out
Like an earlier day,
Undo fate's gaffe
At culling someone in his prime
By using some restore point,
As in the computer,
Not be staring at the wall like this
Knowing he cannot return
Knowing he drowned and has been cremated.