I chase you through the tree-tops into sun-soggy memories. Pig-tails flapping, giggling, chased by the strongest man in the world. And when you catch me, the most tender of all. In the meadow there, we laugh, intoxicated by the scent of wildflowers and pine trees, the glitter of morning.
For a moment, you are just there, in the spray of lights glimmering in half-closed eyelids. Like a ghost, you step closer, your footsteps silenced by pine needles blanketing the forest floor. My heart, like a harp, trembles with fragile hope that you might touch its strings again. My eyes flit wide, suddenly, as if to catch you there.
It is like looking directly at the rising sun. Too fiery, I am blinded. Now you are the sun, too dazzling to behold. Like looking away from the sun to the faces of loved ones lit by its embrace, I turn in my mind to faces where your light still lingers: in the lightning bolt throw of a grandson from short-stop, the acerbic wit, the easygoing grin of another.
Like all beautiful music, there on that sun-lit morning, your presence peaks and flows back out into the universe, ungraspable. Now the pine tree scent taunts, for what came so near, and yet remains concealed. My heart shatters in fiery ache. The song that crept close flows back to its point of origin, radiates into a thousand re-fractions. You are everywhere now, illuminating the forest, surrounding me.
This grief now the counter-point of all the love we shared when I could still see you, still touch you: proof that even death cannot conquer love.