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It Cast a Shadow Over May

by Megan Guimbellot

It's already been a month and I wish I could remember, but you are already fading//like water in my palm you are slipping away through tiny cracks that my weak eyes can't even see.
And after so many Christmas Eves in front of that fireplace, a lifetime of crushing hugs and walks and stories,
After eighteen years of living next door, of assuming you would always be just across the lawn and up a few stairs,
After the beach every summer, hurricane evacuations, dusky evenings on the wide, white porch..
After all of that I should remember you with startling clarity but I can't recall the smell of your aftershave, or your laugh, or the way you looked in the sunlight in all the summers of my childhood// Even in my pictures you don't seem real/ Just a dream I had once, a figment of my wild imagination.
You were the kind of grandfather a child would wish for.
The calm, strong center, a place to turn, someone to count on,
to hang on to...

But now you're gone and the only thing I can smell is that stale hospital room where you looked so small. I remember the rough feel of your skin as I held your hand in mine as tight as I could as if I could somehow pass my strength to you through our touch//I know you were running out and I would have given it all to you.
You stared at the ring on my finger, turned it and it threw tiny specks of light across your tired face/
I know you were thinking that you would never see me in that white dress because I was thinking the same thing, too
And in that moment I realized my heart could break in ways I never knew were possible.

Without you is somewhere I never planned on being and now I'm left here and I just don't know what to do.


Author's Note: Helplessness is not a feeling I am used to, but I miss you so much that my insides have been replaced with some dark cave and I can't seem to find the light.

Posted on 06/16/2011
Copyright © 2021 Megan Guimbellot

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by V. Blake on 06/16/11 at 06:40 PM

This is brutal, Megan. I envy the incredibly powerful voice you have in all your poems--when you want to lift us up, you can get rid of gravity; but when you want to bring us back down, well, I think this is pretty strong evidence that you can do that in spectacular fashion.

Posted by Kimberly Bauer on 06/16/11 at 06:51 PM

this poem evokes such an emotion I feel I am visiting that dark cave with you. Very well and a powerful ode to a loved one.

Posted by Jared Orlando on 06/17/11 at 07:14 AM

As always, you can convey sadness in the most beautiful way. As one of your biggest fans, as you already know, I'm always here for you.

Posted by Steven Kenworthy on 07/29/11 at 11:56 AM

be strong love...this actually hurt my guts to read. i know this is late...but you know, he's in a better place than us = something to think about and hang onto.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/27/16 at 02:26 PM

Heart wrenching and beautiful. Thank you.

Posted by Richard Vince on 05/31/16 at 08:08 PM

wow. so very very moving. thank you for sharing.

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