Slippers, perched at night stand,
twitching impatiently,
mark the absence of feet,
cannot appreciate the meaning
of unruffled bed covers.

Abandoned, a coffee mug
bemoans its curdling contents,
complains of thick brown lines
contaminating its porcelain shine,
has not noted absence of hands.

Chair, pushed back from desk,
in partial rotation, sits awkwardly,
commanding attention, disturbed
by its misalignment, has not thought
to ponder absence of body.

House, uncomfortable with silence
creaks unnaturally, loudly voicing
objections to the absence of footfalls,
automated machinery and incessant
rings, beeps, and chimes of technology.

I try to reassure them that the absence
is only temporary, that the man whose
presence so strikingly fills this space
will return,  hope they cannot read
the apprehension in my tremulous heart.

(Gina is hosting at dVerse Pub tonight and challenges us to consider the magic in ordinary things.  When my husband had a heart attack a few years back,  I noticed how everything took on new meaning while he was gone.  It inspired this poem.)


Published by


Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

37 thoughts on “Absence”

  1. oh my V.J this was incredible, reminded me of when my mum fretted that my dad would never return from hospital, she went around touching his things, I never knew why she did that but now reading your poem I understand, she was reassuring the ordinary things of his return and at the same time herself. the comfort of ordinary, the blessing of routine was what she held on to, willing it to bring dad home, I am seeing that in your poem and that you did the same. truly the magic of ordinary things keeps us connected to the ones we love when they are far away. thank you for looking for this piece and sharing it, it speaks on so many levels, the depth of your poetry amazes me!

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.