I didn’t hear the drone then applause after
name after name after name.
All I could hear was
the ptang ptang ptang of the basketball on the driveway
giggles muffled by blankets on sleepovers
C-G7-C-F-C from Edelweiss on stage.

I didn’t see tassel on mortar board.
All I could see was
thin hair on the back of your head
above the words of Make Way For Ducklings
over-joy on your face as you ran to me, jumping
the team mobbing you in front of the goal.

You are not next to me.

All I could feel was
a small hand sweating into mine
the bobbing of sobs into my chest after the first breakup
the tightness of my hand on your arm for some trivial offense.

As you walked,
pride pressed up, a fire
spreading from first floor to apex
doused by the sink of loss draining,
rainwater spiraling down gutter to sewer.

All I could do was

I did all I could
until they called your name
then all I could do was cheer.