The strain in the widow’s voice was not the welcome
I’d been seeking revisiting old charts then almost automatically
Dialing nine then one then the home number on the day before the day
Before Christmas for no admissible reason but to say once again
I’m sorry for your loss last summer and for my part in it Thing is I tried
We all did In the end the team agreed the husband was beyond saving
Though no one said this plainly Instead we talked about the safe things
My girls in matching dresses her family party
A rare amnestic opportunity which I was interrupting
How every gathering’s a feast day and a wake You know we lost a child
She reminded me This has been much worse I held my breath
Before the line went dead And later in the embarrassment of morning
The impulse seemed so mean bereft of all sincerity
Leaving nothing but the desperate wish that she’d save me
Gaetan Sgro MD practices Internal Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA.
His poems have appeared in The Bellevue Literary Review, Glass: Poet’s Resist, Blueline, The Healing Muse, Best New Poets 2016, and other fine publications.