Twelve: the hours in the day
Which my heart still beats
Reminding me that I made it out
When you never did.
The number of months in the year
During which I think about that day
And remember what we did
And what we did not.
The age of your son, or close to it
Older than, I imagine; nearly a man now
The birthdays and memories so fond
That you never got to see.
The years it’s been since we lost you
In what was probably preventable
But also was unavoidable in the way
War is; its detestable glory calls the willing.
The number of times I’ve wanted to
Visit your grave when I thought about
How to spend my annual use-or-lose
But was too crippled by fear;
Afraid to meet your family but
Ashamed that I never have.