Vacated Space

His place was a peculiar sort of mess
     The year it took my brother John to die,
          Untidy not so much as just unlived
               As on some ghostly ship so long ago –

Sails set and running freely with the wind
     No sign of crew – all gone their separate ways
          No entry in the log with scene of woe
               Just this – his ship adrift upon the waves.

That day might well have been the one he died
     But he’d stopped living there so long before –
          Engagements with his future and the past
               Collapsing in upon his tended core.

It’s now I understand that haunted look
     His eyes had carried through that passing year
           He’d called me up, I think to say good bye
                I’d brushed it off, not entertained his foe.

He spoke of being tired so deep within
     An absence of the drive to carry on.
          New heart and lungs – new life that final week
               Could not sustain – he settled back to ground.

Those early transplants paved the way for life
     In others, though it's shaky as before,
          So in his death, and earlier his wife,
                Some meaning’s gleaned through tragedy so sore.

My ship shows signs unlived around me now –
     Of energy and focus gone like crew
          A year of withered hope – such sorry past
               Without redeeming gift to others passed.

I’d found myself a leader in our clan
     Dad’s death had thrust that mantle for his wife
          That now I must surrender for the man –
               My brother, shows to batten down for strife.

The battle just ahead needs lighter ship
     And all resources freed to fight the storm
          So cargo to the deeps from hold must go
               To leave the dumping late ensures more woe.

I did this once before when things piled up –
     Attention span collapsed to minutes three
           I walked away from value in that way
                But got to sail again another day.

Lord, I appreciate this break for me
     To breathe, now prep my ship for stormy sea
          To wrap things up and do what must be done
               To battle storm – so victory can be won.