The day arrives like a noisy newborn,
the shrill sound of a cell phone
awakening her from sound sleep.
Startled, she springs up in bed
wrenching her back. Already
the day is conspiring against her.
She knows from experience
late night and early morning phone calls
only mean trouble.
Fifteen years have passed
since the early morning call,
her teenage son’s fatal accident.
But her panic never lightens.
Reaching for the phone, breathless,
she chokes back her hysteria,
hoping for a wrong number.
Instead, she hears the gentle voice
of her daughter, soft as a falling snowflake,
making a birthday wish
to her much-missed brother,
the woman’s beloved son,
whom they both call “our boy.”
- Something I Can Never Have