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Empty Chair
Dec 27, 2002

My son Josh died of an accidental drug overdose on Jan.18, 2002. He was only 21. This year marks our first Christmas without him. I wrote this poem about what the holidays were like this year with him gone.

Empty Chair

The holidays have come around,
But the house has no familiar sounds,
No whispers in corners
Of what might be,
Waiting for someone under the tree.
Your brother, your sister,
Are just not the same,
They smile sadly, as they
Mention your name.
They do their best to cheer one another,
But in their eyes they are saying
“I miss my brother”.
I stand in the kitchen, and hum to myself,
As I bring the ingredients down from the shelf
To make holiday cookies,
Like all the years past
When you were here, they never did last
But that’s what made baking them fun,
You know,
It was always because
You loved them so.
Preparing the turkey, I started to think
Of the way you’d stand peering into the sink
Every year when I’d do this, unwrap this big bird
“Oh man, that’s disgusting”, were your favorite words.
Then I’d wiggle the legs at you,
Like the turkey was dancing,
And we’d look at each other,
And both break out laughing.
But this year I stood at the sink alone,
Remembering these moments, and trying to hide
From everyone as I wiggled the legs
And instead of laughing I cried.
Christmas morning came, and we opened our gifts
With a measure of holiday cheer,
But I could not stop missing the way the way that you would
Always hang your new socks
From your ears,
Making me laugh,
Year after year.
As evening fell we gathered round
The holiday table to share
Our Christmas meal, this time we all love
And I truly did try, I swear,
But I simply could not, try as I might
Bear the sight of your empty chair.
I miss you my son
I love you my boy
Why is it that we are apart?
I know of nothing that will ever fill
The hole in this mother’s heart.

Kelly Cummings
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