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The Call

I lost my stepson last month

The Call

It comes as a shock – when you glance at the clock,
it’s an hour that no one should call,
but the name on display gives the caller away –
so you answer the phone after all.

The voice you detect isn’t who you expect
and your slumberous brain starts to clear
as the desperate tone that you hear on the phone
sends a message no parent should hear.

That message, though short, is a tragic report
that’s so thunderous, vile and extreme.
Is it all a mistake? Are you really awake
or just having a terrible dream?

The news hits you hard – leaves you shaken and scarred,
like your soul has been cut with a knife –
you can hardly believe that a child you conceived
will no longer be part of your life.

You hang up the phone and you lay there alone
while your mind is consumed with your son –
but the time you can grieve gives you little reprieve
from the work that remains to be done.

Plans must be made at the place he’ll be laid,
some decisions – like how he’ll be dressed,
a list of his friends you’ll invite to attend
on the day that you lay him to rest.

The pics you massage for the photo-montage
take you back to the day of his birth
and you brandish a tear as they mark every year
of the time that he spent here on earth.

You pause to lament every family event,
all his games where you cheered as a fan –
the books you’ve amassed with the shots from the past,
as he grew from a boy to a man.

Your mind plays the game that you’re partly to blame –
did he know just how deeply you cared?
You struggle for clues as you sit and peruse
the relationship both of you shared.

The good and the bad, every fight that you had,
disappointments and flashes of pride –
the son that he bore, who you’ve come to adore
and the bond now forever denied.

From now ‘till the wake, there’s some solace you take
in the knowing that part of his soul
will continue to run in the life of his son –
to enjoy in your grandmother’s role.

The day’s finally here – at a time of the year
when the weather is dismal at best –
when clouds will descend and a wintery-wind
stand to put our event to the test.

But the cold and the gray failed to show up that day
and the sun would arrive in their stead –
with rays that would kill any seasonal chill
‘neath the beautiful skies overhead.

Rest peacefully – my son.

James Matthew Trollinger
1976 - 2013
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