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.