for those who’ve walked on,
for those left behind
Thin brown jacket hangs from slant rail
in the garage, brings your absence
into my bones. They ache; winter
looms, bleaching color from the days.
We learn stories about you we
never knew, or heard once, forgot:
Days on the beach in Mexico;
how you’d quick, stop the car to paint
a desert sunrise; that you came
to this country on a boat; left
behind your language, your dreams
how you wept the day your son died.
Or we listen once more to your
nerve-lit music, sing the lyrics
by heart. We still recall the first
time those blue words broke us, healed us.
A piece of us follows you up
that long road; a piece stays behind.
The empty chair, so much larger
now, seen with our new eyes, rinsed clear.
Terry Wolverton is author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, most recently Ruin Porn. She is the founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles.
Yvonne M. Estrada is a Los Angeles-based poet and photographer. She is the author of My Name on Top of Yours, a crown of sonnets with original photographs. Her work has recently appeared in Talking Writing, Lit for Life, and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles.