The Leaving II

My son stands in the hallway 
                                                         my son knows what to say:

                                                        Is there anything else you’d like me to do mom? //
                                                                 No, you’ve done a lot thank you, I say.

My son stands in the hallway

                            his bronzy eyes sweep the floor

                                                          My son knows what to say:

                                                          I’m going out for a little while, okay?  //
                                                                Maybe if you return before dark, 
                                                                we can work on more leaves, I say. //
                                                           He nods – Maybe.

My son stands in the hallway 

                             stretching his arms long for a hug

                                                         My son knows what to say:

                                                          I love you mom //
                                                                 I love you too, I say. 

My son stands in the hallway

                               his bronzy eyes follow me to the kitchen

                                                             What shall we do about supper? I say //
                                                     I don’t know, I’ll think of something, okay? he says //
                                                             Sounds good, I say.

                                                      My son knows what to say:

                                                      I’m going now, okay?

                                His bronzy eyes shift sideways

My son stands in the hallway

                                                                 I say, Have a good day //
                                                         He says: [                   ]
                                                                        You too //  //  //  //  //  
                                                                                                    bye //  //  //  // //  //  //

About this poem

On the morning of October 31, 2020, my 27-year-old son, Davin, helped me prepare the house for visiting family by moving furnishings, placing things up high on closet shelves, and moving storage tubs. At 12:00 P.M., we stood in the front hall of our Vermont home and had this casual exchange, not uncommon for a Saturday. At 1:15 P.M. my sister messaged me that she was not going to arrive until the next day. At 1:31 P.M., I sent Davin a text message, “Your aunt won’t be here tonight,” so he wouldn’t have to plan a big meal. He didn’t respond, but I was unphased, thinking he was across town with his uncle watching a football game or working on a house project, as was a typical weekend for him. After a dusk hike with the dog, I looked at the clock and sent Davin a text message at 7:56 P.M., “Where are you????” Following an hour of phone calls to him, my other son, his uncle, and the hospital, a police officer arrived at my door to find a woman heaving in anxious fits. We searched his living spaces for hints, notes, a missing travel bag. We checked the phone plan log and saw his last call was at 10:46 am, to a local Inn. At 9:30 P.M. the officer says, nonchalant,HE’S NOT LIVING.”

My beautiful boy ended his life. Losing his father on 9/11, hiding a dark childhood secret, and living with depression for several years, the quarantines and shut-downs punctuated his feelings of hopelessness. He wrote:

“I’ve felt worried about our world in general, and it’s not getting better.”

© Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: