Absence

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.

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

On the Edge of Too Late

Once believed
not in circles
but in spirals

Life’s dance
continual movement
marking progress

Time’s measure
mocks such optimism
regret unavoidable

Excuses aplenty
none assuaging ambition
incomplete inevitable

Can I stop this spinning
rescue the untidy threads
weave an acceptable ending?

(Image my own)

Sorry

Sorry –
so much inadequacy
bundled into one word
as if five letters
can convey
depths of regret,
shock, dismay

Seems I am the spark
to your lighter fluid –
unintentional, I swear

Still reeling
from the aftermath
of the explosion

Attempting to
deconstruct the
formula –
precautionary

I am sorry –
that you are enraged,
that you are so obviously disappointed
that you are consumed with resentment –
except, it is sadness, not regret that I feel.

I cannot own this,
was always honest,
forthright,
did not feed your expectations

Besides,
learned long ago –
we don’t have the power
to make anyone
feel anything
least of all,
sorry.

So I’m not sorry,
but maybe
if you could just tell me,
give me an inkling
of what you might need,
I can help us out of this hole.

(Sorry first appeared here 2018. Image my own)

Childhood Home

The place remains in my dreams
like a movie set preserved…

Have assigned each room
a critique – disclosed the crimes

Yet, it remains, like a beacon
draws me to it, begs reflection

What if I could go back
now that I can breathe

Now that I’ve laid claim to maturity;
would I discover a sudden windfall?

Makeover conditioned motifs;
reevaluate ceiling heights?

With resources to remodel
heart open, connected

might I uncover abundance
like a personal embrace.

(Childhood Home first appeared May, 2020. Image my own)

Cryptic

Is the writing on the wall so cryptic?
Graphic images depict rage
flames of dissonance
young men bleeding at their own hands
compassion incapacitated.

A sad awakening
for a society fixated
on rights and privileges,
dominating culture
excluding the nurture
of humanity,
or preservation of life.

How can we continue
to closet our children’s pain –
their vitality oozing –
hopelessly abandoned
by morality’s shelter?

It is the wall,
not the spatters
of blood upon it,
which needs amending –
adolescent minds too tender
to wade through
the cryptic priorities –
messages divided.

(Cryptic first appeared here May 2018. Edited here. Image my own.)