A Last Visit

I talked to him as he was secretly dying
and I did not listen
so there is little to say now
that it is all over.

His gaze, I thought,
skipped over my face
tapping my hands and the table,
a stone thrown indifferently
into the flash flood.

When he died, he importantly
was absent, a first, for he
had held us solid in his smoke
year after year.

And so, they wept, trying
to please him still, burying
a sad cardboard carton beneath a tree
with no marker but memory to name it.

Don't just stand there.