Weeds and Flowers by Tess Rauscher

it’s not your fault

that he’s not here.

it’s not your fault

that his seat remains

empty, cold;

that his dream

of a far off city

with bright lights,

now lays

unattended.

it’s not your fault,

there’s nothing you could

have done.

it’s not your fault

that his calls

were never answered.

it’s not your fault,

that you decided

he wasn’t good enough,

it’s not your fault,

that you were caught up

with your own demons,

and forgot he had his own.

it’s not your fault,

there’s nothing you could

have done.

it’s not your fault

that you were there,

then weren’t.

it’s not your fault

that you floated,

and he sank.

it’s not your fault,

that you felt

a caressing breeze,

while he coughed

up stale dirt.

it’s not your fault,

that his skin never

wrinkled,

that his hair never

grayed,

that he never received

a high school diploma.

it’s not your fault,

that his family dropped

to their knees,

that they can’t use

that bathroom anymore.

it’s not your fault,

that his bedroom is

a war zone of memories,

that his name,

is now coated in irony.

it’s not your fault,

there’s nothing you could

have done.

it’s not your fault

that now bowties decorate

his gravestone

instead of his neck

it’s not your fault,

that weeds and flowers

now entwine his bones,

like his hands once

entwined yours.

it’s not your fault

that on the morning

of new beginnings,

he decided he didn’t want one.

it’s not your fault.

there’s nothing any of us

could have

done.

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