EVERY YEAR, LIKE AN EMPTY SWING
Your birthday returns and I push it away.
If I could climb into your lap right now.
squirm into the manly hollow
between chest and chin, and smell
clean soap on skin, the shaving cream
that said Daddy to me -
if I could hear your voice reading to me
or if I could face you again,
over the chessboard, with the worn paperback
and its sets of opening moves
lying face-down between us,
you staring down at the board
while I watched the light on your thinning hair -
if I had those last moments on your last day
to live over, I could only say again
what I say now: "I love you."
I love you.
©2012 Tina Quinn Durham