Irreversible

Who can measure
the cost of war?

How deep destruction
scars the human soul?

I see the trench lines
carved on fathers’ faces

the ghostly pallor
of mothers’ fear –

only the children sing
unaware, bending to fate

with graciousness;
grief’s shrapnel well buried

(Image my own. Tuesdays I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson)

Unrequited

Funny how memory differs…
My fears, closeted,
clouded the view…
Your oblivion smug…
there was potential there, I’m sure –
but sometimes love isn’t enough
expectations and insults
impenetrable dividers…

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @ Vjknutson. Image my own)

Gambler

The gambler puts in fifty-cents
expects hundreds in return;

a simple flick of the wrist
and abundance will be his.

I feel like a slot machine:
paying dues for minimal input.

Tells himself there is more
to be had, if luck runs his way;

walks away from the richness
of family, joy of friendships –

Id’ be a slot machine for him
if love equated with money

Dreams of possibilities beyond
his daily reach, a fast track plan:

fortune is calling, palm itching
just one more roll of the die –

The die has been cast here;
no longer willing to gamble.

One more momentous win,
a promise to share the wealth;

what more could any woman want
from a man – half an empty dream?

Took a chance, myself once,
thought he was my windfall

guess, in the end, all gamblers lose.

(Originally penned Gambler in July, 2016. Image my own)

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.)

Lucky One

Tiger’s eye
reminds me of youth,
how you remarked:
“Save it for luck!”
before brushing aside
my unruly hair…
one last time.

Found you again
decades later,
sipping tea
in a corner café,
dropped the marble
in your saucer,
your smile
bridged the years.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson, this poem edited. Image my own)

(Hi all. This post was pre-scheduled. I have turned off comments. We are currently coming to terms with the loss of a close family member. Will visit when I can, but likely be off for a bit.)