Like an ox without its yoke mate
I walk along the cart path
leaning on habit and
learning new ways to move.
Ever-mindful of my precious cargo,
I'm keenly aware of what's missing.
The smell of his sweat.
His shoes strewn about the closet floor.
The cupboard doors he annoyingly left open.
The sound of his car coming up the drive.
Numbers and lists on endless scraps of paper.
His pet names for each of us.
His sharp intellect.
His remarkable stories.
His steady presence.
His warrior fight.
His acceptance and encouragement of me.
The words of affirmation
and lovely bouquets.
There is no one to back me up with the kids.
There is no shoulder to cry on late at night.
There is no eye to catch from across the room.
He was a son
Broken and battered.
Strong as an ox.