Riley Died Again Yesterday
We ordered food from a place
We used to get delivery, before.
The doorbell rings and there she is,
glowing and smiling like always.
How are your two boys?
Desmond stands, close, so like his brother,
you could mistake him if you squinted.
My hand on his head, I tell her Riley died.
She goes dark as a sudden cloud,
hand over her mouth as she sobs,
she says, I’m so sorry too many times to stand.
I hug her,
and say it’s okay,
he was a beautiful boy,
and we miss him,
my arm wet with her tears.
She says she was excited
to see our order, to enjoy his running,
hug, and Spider-Man stories.
She says, My cancer came back
and almost got me. I picture
the last time they saw each other,
Death’s finger pointing,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
Chanel Brenner, Foliate Oak, May 2013.