Acorns (To Laughter)

For our friend, Mason. x

Learning you left was a helpless kind of pain -- 
a fresh-out-of-the-shower in December,
hair-dripping-down-my-back, I 
forgot my towel in the other room, so
I guess I’ll just stand here in a puddle
on the icy tiles as goosebumps itch across
my skin, painful. It immobilized.

But it was warm; it was September.
The leaves were barely gold. You lived
so much too quick, you left October crooked.
What could we do with all the you 
we still carried?

In a treehouse those two meticulous
hands of yours helped build, on the torn
edge of a river you once swam, a 
Sunday sunset shivered orange across
the sky, and the horizon 
rained acorns.

The first, kicked from the floorboards.
The second, flicked off a railing, and
grief found its playful side. Between
the rafters of branches arced acorns, right beside
sworn dares and regrets and promises
no one thought we’d have to make for decades still--

Still.
We swore. We held. Acorns dropped.
All of us, there and not.
You, there and not.
And somehow -- impossibly -- we remembered
that even the worst returns to laughter.

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