i did not know the young man Josh.
i will not know him:
he died yesterday morning walking to high school.
a car took him down.
i did hear Josh whisper since.
Josh’s school locker was next to my daughter’s,
a friend since elementary school.
death and grieving abound here.
Tough for a parent to determine
when to cut it off,
get back to business.
Again Josh’s whisper comes.
i try to remember being a junior in high school,
hoping to communicate better, do the right thing;
ruminating through my seemingly endless years;
jobs and war and loves,
touching other lives, good and bad.
It is hard to remember.
Josh’s whisper helps;
Not just whispers from the recently dead young man,
but also whispers of friends and kin who died young and old.
Through the whispers and my faulty recollection
i search for the right things to
say and do with my daughter.
Josh whispers again.
Is it me?
i told my daughter she should carry on
as she felt the young man
Josh would want –
it worked for me when my father-in-law,
a close friend as well,
passed (as they say) several years ago.
He whispered to me more than a decade ago.
i have been around when others passed (so the saying goes);
felt so empty, dead myself, until i heard the whispers.
They are mostly comforting to me, these whispers.
i pray to god that such whispers,
when my daughter hears them,
will comfort her.
- Bonita, California
- October 25, 2005