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I have a friend named Allan.  I met Allan and his wife Karin last summer.  At that time, I worked part time at a veterinary hospital and some asshole had abandoned a dog there.  Dumped it with a bag of food and a fearful heart.   I rescued it, and sought a home for it through local rescue animal welfare groups.  Allan and his wife were the ones who adopted that little dog.
I knew then she was dying.  She had cancer. I visited her during the coming months, checked on them and their dogs. Sadly, Karin died January 1, 2016.   And he loved her. And now, he is mourning her deeply. I went to the memorial.  He adored this woman, and the love he felt for her was a palpable thing.

Anyway, I have been thinking so much about her and Allan and their amazing, albeit too brief time together.
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So, I wrote this poem.

It is wrong of me to envy a dead woman.
And yet, when he speaks of her,
Reverent longing heavy in his timbre,
I envy her. Not her ashes,
But the fire in which she died –
Brilliant hues that burned her from the inside out.
His fingers, coated with soot, bear the same scorching.
And I long for the same consummation.
I know that her body failed her, but
What of her heart?
Do the filmy gray flakes that he scatters in the wind
still vibrate to his touch?
Do the ashes remember how they were loved?
Do they realize how they are mourned?
In my mind, I chase the feathered gray flakes
as they scatter Germany,
if only to inhale their smoldering and taste their back draft.
A few remain around him, land on his shoulders, his arms, tangle in his hair,
As if unwilling to let him go.
His face turns upward to the sun,
but it is a cold substitute
for the fire he once held.