© 2019 Claire Fullerton

In The Wake of a Family Suicide

 

 

When you left

We all changed places

Rooms were vacated

And some of us moved on

To houses where you never dwelled

So there were no voices to listen for

No footsteps to expect

We simply locked the door

And threw away the key

Moving out into the world without you

Regretfully perhaps, yet permanently

 

We disbanded next

For there was no safety in numbers

To gather together

Would have left us one short

And the risk of looking in each other's eyes

Would have served as constant reminder

That we were all accessories of the same crime

 

And when you left

You gave us something larger than life:

It is heavier, this void,

It is tangible, this absence,

It is history now

And it has become something to out run

An integral part of our makeup is cast

And we all are changed

By the damage that's been done

 

When you left

You left us with something to explain

To those who have come in your wake

And it sounds like a story that happened to somebody else

And I listen as I tell it dispassionately

Wanting not to sound tainted

Wanting not to sound touched

But I am

And we are forever

 

When you left

We all changed places.