by J. Allen
Reflection, free writing
Snow Slept on the Day He Died
The day he died, snow slept on the lawn, a porcelain canopy that buried the place where tall green grass once grew. And snow slept on the trees, now barren, that were once adorned with lush leaves, and snow slept on the rooftop of my childhood home, too. Snow slept around the chimney, where pillows of smoke puffed and curled into slow, sleepy tendrils, then faded into the stony sky.
The day he died, I remember the silence. The stillness all around. The cold burn of winter that cut my skin like a cruel razor. But I barely felt its bite. And I barely felt the breath lodged in my chest, as my lungs refused to breathe. I fought the memories of him that replayed in my mind like a love song, only playing louder the more I tried to fight.
At the funeral, I barely heard the voices of guests or their meaningless condolences. I hardly heard the children crying in the back room or the voices of their mothers soothing them. I hardly heard the sound of the piano playing, or its doleful, plaintive tunes, or the lyrics of songs that played for too long as others around me wept.
I sat in silence at the far end of the pew, holding my head in my hands. And I thought of last summer and last spring and last fall, thinking of anything but him.