~For John Sherman Scheckel, October 17, 1917 – March 19, 1919
~For Billy Scheckel, January 24, 1924 – April 3, 1926
~And for Irene Torok, January 31, 1926 – February 8, 1926

Bitter medicine.
A house-call doctor bends low,
In the next room, an aunt
prepares a meal: cabbage, noodles
seasoned by futility.
Every tongue is dry and listless.
Oh honey … I don’t know
what to call you.
There may not be time to call
on God or Providence or family
far away. We hold you,
grasping your tiny hands,
your eyelids milky-blue,
small blue veins, little rivers
the family is drifting down.
We cradle you,
floating on what you leave behind.
Your absence is our landscape.
We pocket you in tiny coffins
of memory, no epiphanies
to redeem the sadness.

What could you know of joy,
erratic as a bee’s flight?
So little honey ever graced your lips.