I talked with some friends today

death still fresh and newly experienced

new wounds bringing out old scars in all of us.

fresh ways for tears to fall.

She said there is a stage where you try bargaining.

If I had done this, I could have done that…

she said it’s the hardest stage to get past.

Just over a year now, but still fresh in my mind

have I gotten past

the “should have done” lines?

if only I’d been there

if I were that strong

to just put my foot down

instead of my tongue

What if I had listened

and heard the real meaning

of the words that I heard them all back and forth screaming

Why wasn’t I there, where I was most needed

instead I was hiding

from hard to deal with feelings

What if I had done, at least half what I wanted?

would he still be here? these thoughts leave me haunted.

I want to tell the story

because he was my father

I want to think of what that meant to him

this man I left behind.