Keith Woodruff


​After all your suffering, you die offstage. Your heart bursts smilingly from the joy and shock of learning your son is alive. No such merciful exit for me. But there are many kinds of death. Rain of leaves. Dust of skin cells. The body we know can move around convincingly with nothing true inside. So it is with me. For he is gone. This boy who meant so much to me. Passing too quickly, quietly as bird’s wing through air. Those weeks of waiting for his eyes to open, my face like a lamp above his, are over. My son, sick with cells that would not light, died in my hands at six weeks of age. Time then twisted, became hideous days, weeks, years we’d never be together. Thumb-gored Gloucester, ho