©2021 Susan Noyes Anderson
image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
I always was an early riser,
but I still enjoyed my bed.
Now I leap out like a rabbit,
scared a fox might have my head.
Irony, then, that a fox
has found a home within my heart.
Todd means “fox,” and his sad end
slept miles away from his glad start.
Todd was magic, brilliance, beauty,
wit and wisdom, laughter, drive.
Todd was sorrow, struggle, striving.
Dead set. Not death set. Alive.
Todd was many things to me, but
“absent” never made the list.
Silent, sullen, some days room-bound.
And yet present, sorely missed.
My son clung. Hung in there, fighting,
pushing uphill to the end.
Then his last dream crashed around him,
left him nothing to defend.
He gave warning, like the rumble
heard ere lightning fells a tree.
Like a tower before it crumbles,
Todd foretold his fall to me.
First in actions, then in words,
he made it known. The cause was lost.
Price too high, rewards too low,
and no reserves to bear the cost.
I fought it as a boulder stands
against strong waters rushing past.
His pain, at last, belonged to him:
His energy. His die to cast.
My solace is remembering
Todd braved each curve, held nothing back.
He ran on fumes for years, long years.
I know well why he left the track.
Without him, I’m forever changed;
this heavy ache bears no relief.
Yet loving Todd is alchemy
worth any weight, in gold and grief.