After She's Gone

Tears fall like rain on a deathly still face,
There’s no hope for her now, she’s in a much better place:
A place with no sorrow, a place with no pain
Still they clench her hand tighter, scream “Wake up!” in vain,

The father’s a wreckage the mother’s a mess
The pain’s an unbearable weight on their chest.
Now that their daughter is lost forever
They find themselves losing their love for each other.

They feel it’s their fault as all parents do.
They should’ve stopped the car from pinning her true-
And fast to the ties that would draw her to death.
When that car hit she knew- it didn’t have to be said.

Still they flew to the hospital on sirens and screams
And for weeks the mother sobbed on her hands and knees.
Then the brother flew back from his tour in Iraq
Hating that this was the reason he found himself back.

The brother knew when he looked in her face,
And saw Death fast approaching at a debauched pace.
“After she’s gone” he said- but the mother just screamed
How dare her son the soldier murmur heresy!

But the doctor walked in and could naught but confirm
So that the father’s face twisted with the bitterest scorn
And the mother fell faint as though she’d died too
And the brother’s face was blank as he paled a hue.

The father and mother now argue and fight
As the son prepares for his return flight.
Inside he’s weeping, in sorrow he basks
But outside he wears a carefully calm mask.

The family fights. They yell and they scream
All things and matters, all things obscene
But on their own- when no one can hear-
They cry and they sob because she’s no longer here.

The funeral’s here, the casket gleams far too bright
And the day is mocking with its warm summer light
The family has gathered and finds strength united
So that as the earth falls they feel slightly less plighted

The tombstones in place and covered in flowers
The family is there for hours and hours
Feeling the warmth of the sun on the stone
Knowing that here they’ll never be alone.

Tomorrow the brother will leave. The fighting will resume
But at this moment they honor the tomb
Of a girl loved and lost, a sister and daughter,
Whom a drunk driver stole. Insobriety killed her.

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