Your Daughter Reckons with the Minutes You Were Gone

I want you to have seen wide fields,
the fields your father farmed,
want you to say heaven is

so like our favorite places on the earth
that death is no departure.
The fields you didn’t see send numbness

down my arms. You say it was a blank –
black space, no explanation owed or guaranteed.
We sit at winter’s stoplight in a car.

You confess how being back,
if back is what this is, is hard – safe
without some proof of growth,

mission, battlefield. Cocooned inside
the car, steel heart stopped
at an intersection, is prayer discipline

or honesty? Do I cry out?
Last week, a sorrel threw my friend.
Do I make that breaking sound

or train myself to higher will, subsumed
by other glory?
It makes me sad some days,

more in love with myself, less
willing to believe this life is mine.
And you: still certain

of the wheat, the harvest stubble,
empty barn where blank and holy need
will amble back for rest.

I close my eyes, make peace,
surrender to the lightless home
before the loved arrive.