To Katie

Hear me, o Muse, as I sing to your ears

And raise up my words to your heavenly spheres

Take hold of my pencil, take hold of my mind

Take hold of the memories I am trying to find.

The story will be told, one word at a time;

I will stir up deep waters, though frozen in rime.

I ask your forgiveness, for it’s your story too.

I know you can’t give it, but what else can I do?

We were only small children when you learned to fly.

We were only small children when I learned all things must die.

It was mother and father, Michelle, me and you.

It was that very summer, Sophia joined us too.

You weren’t that old yet, half a year past two,

While I sat in my PJs and watched Scooby Doo

And saw Michelle running, then Mom and Dad too,

To see what was the matter, to see where you flew.

The window stood open, a portal to new worlds.

The window stood open for curious girls

Who jumped on the bed, who jumped just too far,

Who flapped their wings, who flapped tiny arms.

We all looked out that window to see you below

With one scratch on your head and one scratch on your toe.

But I learned not to judge the covers of books,

Because that day Death hid beneath your good looks,

I still remember yelling down from a three-story height;

I still hear your voice telling me you were alright.

A queer story I’m told from those who were there

Because you were already gone. You were no longer here.

Yet I remember your words after so many years;

And when I am sleeping they ring in my ears;

And when I am waking, I find eyes full of tears,

Because I still hear your voice so calm without fears.

I still look to the heavens to see if you’re there

And I know Mom still thanks you for parking when you’re near

And I know we all wish that you were still here.

Even though you live in our hearts, I wish you were here

To share in the moments that made us all close,

That made us a family when we needed it most.

You never met James and Joe, but they sure know you

From pictures of curls made of gold and eyes full of blue.

I hope you can hear me, I know you’re not far:

I know you’re alright, wherever you are.

I don’t believe in Heaven, I don’t believe in God,

But I know you are watching, even though it sounds odd.

You watch over our family, but how is that true?

I know you watch over us, because we’re alright too.