Late for School

I saw her in the eve of memory
the twilight theft of passing years,
she had never been unkind, only reserved
like a Puritan in Salem gone
once too many times into the woods
covering some regret no one would ever guess.

There were hospital gowns and purified airs,
passing nurses and concerned looks tossed between
patients and gathered families.

Her face brightened with concern – “Junior!”
she chastised some ghost,
“Junior, we’ll be late for school.”
Then slipped possibly into a recollection
Of some juvenile castigation of her little brother
long since grown and withered himself.

In those withering hours, those long days
incoherent moments like dried out sailors just in sight of land
Only spotting some enemy’s flag fluttering violently
Over the hulking form of a fortress,
Heavy guns pointed at the only safe harbor.

That is where I saw her last,
A castaway drifting toward her eternity.

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