I catch myself
wanting to text you
like just now coming home
in the snow and picking up
my phone to send pictures
of the birds above the feeders
and the barn cats curled
round each other

needing to tell you how yesterday
I traded snapshots with your girls
them sending pix of cardinals dancing
limbs beside the seed and suet you hung
that last year you came up to Missouri

or how I keep frames of the birdhouses
you made and painted robin’s egg blue
so proud you sent me images of each
as they sat the work bench drying

how I keep the birdhouses next to that
one of you in the brown recliner
in Indiana playing superman with your
chemo bag spread across your chest

I think we both knew how we grew into love
over years repairing all the broken bridges
gathering whatever shards we could find
and paving new paths but god I miss you

even more now than those times you left
such emptiness behind when you moved
to build another plant Colorado or Jersey
Texas Indiana Ohio Missouri new words
that only meant the Ends of the Earth

yet you made each of them destinations
weddings or birthdays all rolled into one
where I could come and bring the kids
feel like I was still part of the family.