For my Uncle Stan.
A wrought iron table and chairs nestled in the shade of an aging building and an ancient tree. The last time I listened to this song was at the funeral. To it I clung, wrenching any happiness there might still be, fighting waves of warm tears threatening to break on the shore of dark circles. I haven’t let it reach my ears since.
Reclining, staring at that tree from below, with its leaves glowing from the sun that shines through them, I smile, imagining the scene to an outsider. “Dappled sunlight on her face, turned up at an odd, uncomfortable angle.”
But no one can hear what I’m hearing. No one feels the relief spread through me. No one else’s heart slows or eyes prickle with tears from the sound of the ukulele and the trumpet who sounds like an old man with sad eyes, or a sad man with old eyes. No one feels the leftover drops of rainwater still clinging to the tips of leaves fall onto my page, stain my ink, and splash quietly back onto my arms. And no one feels the pain and sadness leave me, drifting toward the sky, letting my deceased (for I know he’s there somewhere) know that I’m okay, that I think of him, that I’m living my life in the citrus sun and in the smiling breeze, for the first time, happy.