Gone Missing

You have gone, but I keep looking
keep delving into the great mystery
the meaning of this journey called life.

I go back to where we met, where we talked,
where you did your magic with your son,
urging him forward, teaching him love,
being all of the father he needed,
all the father for us all,
prisoners, mentors, yet all of us
becoming loved, becoming family,
feeling your hugs reach into our hearts.

You, not here now, but then again,
yes, you are, still here, beside me
inside the walls we have built—
your presence, your passion,
your simple message:
showing up,
loving without strings attached—
nothing more really needed.
You, teaching me, again and again,
just love, just be the human being.

Week after week, all of us watching you open your heart
pouring love into that son’s soul,
taking his hand and walking with him
into his manhood,
to be all that he can be,
changing each of us as we watched.

You, in your wisdom,
you, eroding the rock around his soul,
revealing his own diamonds,
one drop of love
at a time.

It is not the passing on, the tears, I ponder,
but your burning flame lighting up my life
the bear hugs, the laugh,
the handshake that gripped my heart,
the words urging all of us to think
of the possibilities.

—Neal Lemery 12/19/2013
in memory of Ken Edens (1953-2013)