Slippers, perched at night stand,
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.
(Absence was written six years ago, while my husband recovered from a triple bypass. Image my own.)