You’ve been that wound, too--
a piece of a handprint, a fracture of thick bone--
your body to remember you by.
You’ve been a great lion with great, soft lion-paws. You’ve been a gray bird--
You’ve been a rubber-seeming black skate, the whole ocean skimmed by your bright belly.
You’ve been a stop-thinking, dancing, sea-green river of joy,
and the great open blue tinged with night.
Your echoes have been so loud against the cold,
and in them, I imagine you saying you’re sorry,
like a lily, blooming in the driveway while it snows.
You’ve been greatness--
Though once or twice, you’ve been the old, white-handled hairbrush you left behind. You’ve been the handle and the spongy, brick-colored rubber base. You’ve been holding the opaque plastic bristles for decades while I untangle-raked out brown, snarling tangles of play, sleep, art, and pudding--
You’ve been greatness at best, and a hairbrush, and a dead man.
These are the things you’ve been.