“Looking You In The Eye” by Tami Boehle-Satterfield


Martin Adjusted 2photo credit Carson Satterfield

“Close your eyes,” the man said,
And the excited boy bounced a bit beside me on the new sofa.
Two sticky, little, pink hands came from behind me,
Covered my eyes.
The warm breath of a girl child’s voice in my ear,
“Don’t peek.”
That was more than two decades ago.

But this morning, you were a precious baby to me.
I wrapped you in your funerary blanket,
Cradled it around your head.
It felt wrong to shroud your eyes,
Your right eye, the one you exited,
Still seeing your trajectory.
Your sight, dead on your destination.

Out into the mourning sky,
You would get an early start.
By nightfall,
Fly pass the moon.
So I can waive
One last goodbye.
Farewell, my Valentine love.

I called him first,
He had brought you to me on my 33rd birthday.
And then her.  She had dressed you in doll clothes,
Dragged you around like a 10 pound sack of potatoes,
And fixed you in a doll’s chair for a cup of tea.
I called the man that was once a boy.
He whispered an, “ohhh” that sounded like the rising wings of doves in an empty church.

Your esteemed, grayed body,
Lanky and wooden now,
Stretched out.
Reaching.
I carefully wrapped your tail, the longest I’ve ever seen,
In and around your legs.
You might be sleeping, if it weren’t for your determined eye.

There is a hole,
Hallowed and already dug,
Beside the rose bush where you would disappear many summer days.
I will shovel the snow out
And see you there in the spring.
A glorious bloom,
Despite the thorny stem.

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