Summer Bones

i never did truly give up hoping for you to change,
though now that i see your grasp slipping
that hope has faded somewhat into a prayer.

you gave me no certainty that you were able
to turn this life around and make it back
without first seeing something better in the distance.

i held on to the photographs and the post cards
you sent every summer, every other summer,
until they too faded with my oily fingertips touch.

you could never face me with a straight smile,
and now i see that underneath your bones
is a boy who never learned how to grow old with me.