Little brother, one month to the day, I lace
up my running shoes and set out for what feels
like the first run since kissing your cold cheek
as you slept in ICU. Already stone.
It is the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day.
As I run, I think of your young widow.
Cherry blossoms are in bloom and a snowy
white egret stands on a rock.
Shimmering in the early morning light,
the jade waters of Stow Lake. Two laughing
boys your age when first we met rush past
to wave the egret into flight.
The lovely bird hesitates.
Lifts a foot.
Regains its perch.
Another excited flapping of hands and – whoosh!
The bird takes off, a flutter of wings, a flash of heaven.
Like the scent of cherry blossoms, already a memory.
for Erik Pedersen (January 2, 1969 – January 13, 2016) The Comstock Review, Summer 2020