I’ve avoided taking pictures

I’ve avoided taking pictures because I don’t want to remember you like this. But you’ve taught me, though indirectly, to find beauty in pain, to find joy in the midst of sorrow. You mumble now and are out of it more than you’re with it. There’s a long silence before I ask, “What are you thinking?” “I don’t know,” you reply with a small curious voice. We sit in silence and I watch your body jerk as you take a drag of your cigarette. “You’re beautiful,” you say to me. “You’re looking fabulous.” I smile. You stare off. Later when I take you back inside and put you in your bed, it’s clear you don’t want to be here. I think you’re trying to ask me to get you out of here but I can’t understand you. You start to cry and ask why I’m being so difficult. I sing to you to calm you down. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know dear how much I love you please don’t take my sunshine away.” The same song you sang to me as a child, I now sing to you as I fight back tears. I sing it again, this time you hum along with me until you close your eyes to rest.

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