My son died, but I always think of him as here.
Unsure these days of my purpose and place,
I come to this little country cemetery, the dependable
seasons arriving and departing—freshly cut lawn,
falling leaves, snow, and then all those various
light greens of spring. It’s spring now. In my mind,
my son cannot be nowhere, and yet I cannot imagine
where he is, except here, growing older inside me
as I grow older, more and more aware that the life he had
has become mine, or at least mine to live out or caretake
as best I can, even as my own death nears.
And so I come here, where I, too, will be buried
in this newly purchased family plot, the two of us,
or, more accurately, our headstones, side by side,
tilting into time in the East Quasset cemetery,
the spring rush of water surging over the dam
and then under the one-car bridge where Quasset Road
meets Sprucedale, that diagonal, hardly used
brookside road we both loved to drive along.
Robert Cording is professor emeritus at College of the Holy Cross and a mentor in the Seattle Pacific low-residency MFA program. His most recent collection is Without My Asking (CavanKerry). New work is forthcoming in the Georgia Review, New Ohio Review, Hudson Review, and The Common.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.