On this night, the first anniversary of my father’s death, there is no moon. I miss its light, the way it fills my front yard where the empty swing sways over a blanket of frozen snow.
Empty like the baseball cap Dad left hanging in the basement the last time he visited.
Empty like the old Willy’s truck he fixed up, rusting in the back yard of my childhood home.
Inside his shed where the cat leaves carcasses of mice, all my father’s tools lie lifeless on the shelves collecting dust.
This past Christmas, we set a place for him at the head of the table and dutifully drank down our glasses of wine and cleared every last morsel from our plates as though we ate to remember not to forget.
only blackened coals now
Empty Christmas stocking