CW: death references
The psychic told my wife how our son
loves that we still leave his sneakers
right inside by the front entrance door
of the house.
They are Brooks size nine
from when he ran cross country.
He died in his sleep at age sixteen.
We’re not sure if running had anything
to do with his death
since he didn’t die while running.
But he did have a swollen foot
from running in the few days
leading up to his death.
The coach and trainer had him sit out
a few days from this injury.
The night to morning he died
it rained all day Friday
and was raining Saturday morning.
I took him to the bus stop
on Friday morning since it was raining hard.
He complained to me in the car
that his foot was hurting badly and he even
popped a few over-the-counter Naproxen
before leaving the house.
I told him to take the day off
if he was in pain.
He insisted on going to school.
He said he hated making up
On Saturday morning
we let him sleep in.
He never woke up.
Now I hate cross country
and Friday and Saturday.
And even wonder about the side effects
of Naproxen and hate it.
All guilty by association.
Connected to a tragic event.
Part of the never ending
Everything is to blame
when there are no answers.
Robert Pegel has been published in The Madrigal, The Remington Review, Trouvaille Review, Lothlorien Poetry, Ariel Chart, Grand Little Things, The Pangolin Review, Goat's Milk, The Galway Review, A New Ulster, Unique Poetry and others. He has work forthcoming in 433 Magazine, Resurrection Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly and Mason Steet. He lives in Andover, NJ with his wife, Zulma and their Min Pin dog, Chewy. Twitter @bobopegs