Ache

Time gives us numbers
and the photo of a face
that rises up
from the ribbon of years
so familiar
like cold window panes
in an old house
a vacant place
where pain should be muted
yet it's fresh and new
raised raw by discovered confessions
that cracked the foundation
of your supposed-to-be life
stranding you in that moment
and in the dust
swirling at your fingertips
which trace the edges of her face
on the fleeting, faded paper
I know she would be proud
of your strength
and if she could
she would
wrap your brilliance around you
a cloak of protection
and whisper, "my Mary"
in a voice exactly like yours