Weeds

IMG_2368 Weeds 2

You were so beautiful once.

Both delicate and strong.

No storm

be it wind nor snow

could harm you.

No drought nor torrent

could quell your spirit.

Nothing could destroy you

until the weeds slowly encroached upon your ground

and invaded your place

your peace.

IMG_2374 Weeds 5

They sprouted up

taking root

upon your roots

IMG_2371 Weeds 3

and weaved themselves

around you

through you

above you

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and strangled you

like thoughts

dark and fearful.

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Thoughts as real as weeds

strangling the rose bush.

 

 

 

 

Silver Buck Moon

I saw you , Buck Moon,

holding court with the stars.

You were dazzling-

a cold silver queen

on a July eve.

Seated at the gates of eternity,

your radiant beams

like arms outstretched

touched the ground beneath my feet,

and I wondered-

if I were to join you for but a moment

to let you carry me to your realm

where I could stand at the entrance of eternal night

and look down to where I had been

and see the world

as you see it,

what would I learn?

To see it all from afar

would understanding come

with the clarity of a bolt of light

cutting through the black night?

And when I returned to this place,

how would it all be different?

 

 

 

 

 

Black Water Moccasin

Skinny, black water moccasin,

I see you

gliding beneath the surface

of shallow waters.

Your back skims the top

then you weave yourself

deeper into the green-brown water.

You weave yourself around legs

of oblivious waders.

You weave yourself around my heart,

which is now both pink and black.

Sometimes you pop your head out of the water.

Sometimes you pop up in the conversations

I have with myself

in my head.

You are a snarky little thing.

And you are clever

and you are angry

for so, so many reasons-

that you are a snake

(as if you had a choice in the matter)

that they think you are ugly

that they think you are dangerous

and  scary and cunning

and gross.

But mostly, you are angry

because they are right.

It is all true.

It is all true

and untrue.

Regardless, you don’t like them anyway.

Fuck them

and their arrogance

and their luck

and their ridiculous preference for shallow water.

And you remind me

that I also don’t like them anyway.

Fuck them.

It is all true and untrue

and you are angry

and I am angry.

You because you are not so awful.

Me because they have no idea how awful I am.

I am angry because

I wish they knew.

I wish they knew that as I am laughing and smiling

and chatting with them,

I chat with you

and mock their stupidity-

those vapid, dull, pretty, perfect shits.

You and I are pretty too

(in our own unconventional sort of ways)

and smart and cunning.

So carry on my somewhat creepy friend.

Swim the shallow waters.

Brush against their ankles.

They have no idea how close they are to you.

How close you are to them.

And I will carry on too-

carry with me my pink and black heart,

a duplicitous thing

talking to them, laughing with you.

They are too cruel to ever understand us.

 

 

 

 

Mists

If memory be a ship at sea

and the sea fog, time eternal

then let us hope

after we become shrouded by her cloak

and have sailed within her embrace

that when her mists are parted

and the sun casts her golden rays

those upon the shore

can see we are still here

that we have not disappeared

like vapor

into the great light.

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandparents’ House

In that house

remains my heart

as it was

so long ago,

and in my chest

I carry it,

that same heart,

as it is now-

worn and sad,

missing that part

that is there

in that place

which stands

inhabited by strangers

who have the audacity

to believe that house

is theirs.

Strangers

who live with my heart

beating still

for you.

*

Do they hear it

in the quiet hours

of the dark morning?

Do they feel you

who hold my heart

within your home?

Within those walls?

*

Are we there

still?

In the still of the night?

In the dark?

In the light

that chases ghosts away?

*

And if we are there still,

how can I be here

and you

so far away,

resting,

waiting for me to return

-home?

 

 

 

Reaching Limits

Unable to find the poetry as of late, I thought I’d take a crack at some short fiction….

Reaching Limits

By: Heather Nanni

Gretchen didn’t understand how anyone could drive that slowly. What would possess someone to pull into traffic at breakneck speed then proceed to drive precisely three miles below the speed limit? Just a few minutes earlier, Gretchen was relaxed and moving. Then this person pulled out in front of her- this person, who, in her small royal blue car, would periodically, and for no apparent reason, press the breaks, bringing the speed down to ten miles below the limit and then, again for some indeterminable reason, bring the speed back up slightly above the limit, only to drop it back down to three below. Why? Why pull out and then move so slowly and erratically? Why the urgency to interrupt the flow of traffic? Looking in her rearview mirror, Gretchen could see that there were no other cars in her lane other than the two that were directly behind hers. Why, given that this driver clearly had neither the intention nor the desire to move at the same speed as Gretchen and the two other cars, pull in front of her? The selfishness of it. It infuriated her.

As Gretchen thought about the driver in the blue car, she felt herself become hot, her pulse quicken; she could feel her right ear turn red. With great effort, she attempted to check her anger. She didn’t want to spoil her few minutes of driving. She entertained the idea that the person in front of her had a legitimate reason for going below the speed limit. She searched for a gray head, two frail, aged hands clutching the steering wheel to mitigate her anger, but there were none. If only the person were elderly she could perhaps understand this vehicular injustice…slow reflexes, poor visual spatial perception. But no. As far as she could see, the driver of the car in front of hers was a bob-haired, redheaded female. And there was something about the woman’s posture that told Gretchen that she was certainly not elderly. This she could neither understand nor tolerate. She banged her steering wheel with her fist. She screamed. Fucking just move!!!

She just needed to go-to press her foot to the pedal and move. It pained Gretchen to be constrained by the dictates of this driver, to be forced to put her foot on the break even though there was nothing but open road ahead.   As she approximated how far ahead she would have been had not this person pulled out in front of her, she seethed with anger. To her, anyone who could maintain this rate of speed was someone with low affect, someone who lacked passion, who lacked energy. Didn’t that person have somewhere to go? If she did, then why dawdle? Low affect. Low energy. She couldn’t relate. Everything about Gretchen moved quickly. She talked fast; she walked fast. Her mind raced. Never could Gretchen rest on a single thought; rather, she was always trying to keep up with a barrage of happy thoughts, disturbing thoughts, relentless thoughts racing through her mind, waking her up in the middle of the night, waking her up in the morning-racing thoughts resulting in a racing heart which beat into the mattress at the most rapid, unnatural and dangerous speed. Only movement could ease her mind and, somehow, rescue her from those thoughts that pulled her deeper and deeper into that midnight zone where she became stuck, unable to breathe, and from which she feared she would be unable to surface. Driving-this was an activity that released her captive mind. But this person in front of her…this person didn’t give a shit. It was her world and it moved at her speed, and everyone else could just go and screw themselves. She was a selfish bitch. How else could you explain her, the bob-haired redhead, The Bob, forcing everyone to drive three miles below the speed limit?

Gretchen just didn’t get that kind of person, the kind of person who was indifferent to the rest of the world.   Gretchen had a hyper-awareness of her surroundings, something she attributed to her acute senses. Anything in her periphery was as visible as if it were standing directly in front of her. Scents, unnoticed by others, where to her strong and pungent. She prided herself on being able to identify the age of a home by its smell. Water that years past, and before the installation of the sub-pump, pooled in in the corner of the basement, the grease of sweaty palms touching doorknobs, insect remains moldered into carpets- all revealed themselves to Gretchen’s nose. And getting a full night’s sleep was nearly impossible, given that she awoke with the slightest sounds-the cat jumping off the chair, the stirring of her child in the room next door, the turning on of the furnace when the temperature fell below 74 degrees. Gretchen was aware that the vigilance to which she paid attention to all that surrounded her was beyond the realm of normal, but on the opposite end the spectrum fell this person, The Bob.

As she was forced to press the breaks again for no apparent reason, Gretchen thought back to the previous evening. She was hurriedly picking up a few items at the grocery store when she found herself stuck in a narrow isle, cornered between a man who came to a dead stop to look at his shopping list and a display of cookies and pies. The man, at first, appeared unaware that anyone was behind him. He certainly would have moved if he knew that he was holding someone up. Gretchen stood patiently, convinced that the man was oblivious of her presence although she questioned how it was possible that he didn’t hear her, considering that her shopping cart had a very squeaky wheel. Finally, the man put his list into his pocket and took three steps forward. When Gretchen resumed walking the front tire of her cart gave out a piercing squeal. Now that he knew she was behind him, she assumed that he would feel badly about holding her up. She was relieved. He knew she was there, and they were moving again. She had places to be, a pace to maintain if her night was not going to fall apart. To Gretchen’s dismay, however, the man moved ahead approximately two more paces and then stopped-dead, took out his cell phone and placed a call, all the while Gretchen standing behind him. The anger that had been percolating now came to a full boil, and the sudden urge to just shove the asshole in front of her became almost uncontrollable. Gretchen contained her anger and softly said, “Excuse me.” The man made no acknowledgement other than to move his cart ever so slightly to the right, giving Gretchen barely enough room to squeeze through. She muttered “prick” under her breath and proceeded to finish her shopping – nervously, concerned that the man had heard her call him a prick and that they would run into each other again. Gretchen loathed confrontation, but she was so angry, so very angry, and as she completed her shopping, she became angrier just thinking about what had happened.   She worried about how she would react if she were to run into the man a second time, so she kept her head down and moved as quickly as possible, hoping to finish her shopping and get the hell out of the store without having another encounter with him.

And now here she was again, trapped behind another selfish shit. She thought about how very different she was from these other people. Whenever Gretchen found herself holding someone up, she was mortified. She recalled a situation a few weeks back. She was stopped at a traffic light and had picked up her phone to check her messages. Somehow she managed to drop it between the console and the passenger’s seat. Quickly, she stuck her hand into the space between the two, desperately searching for her phone. Aware that the clock was ticking, that the light would turn green at any moment, that if she took a second too long she would hold up the line of cars behind her, she unbuckled her seat belt, leaned over and poked her head under the passenger’s seat. It took no longer than two seconds for her to emerge with her phone in hand, only to realize that the light had already turned green. Damn! The people behind her must be pissed. They must think she’s an idiot, or worse, a lousy, selfish person. She had to show them that they were wrong, that she was not who they thought she was. She was better than that. So she pressed the gas and tore through the intersection.   She weaved in and out of traffic, making it to the next light in record time. Yeah. They understood. They would forgive her the hesitation. It was an easy mistake-that pause when the light turned green. They knew. We all get distracted. They would forgive her.

But now she had to deal with the selfish asshole in front of her who, unlike Gretchen, didn’t care if she held anyone up. She didn’t care that Gretchen was in a hurry. It seemed that The Bob’s sole purpose was to slow her down. She just drifted along, and all caught in her wake were at her mercy. Damn these two-lane roads. Traffic flowed from the opposite direction. There was no opportunity to pass. Damn! Gretchen’s felt her chest tighten. Her breathing became shallow. Should she lay on the horn? Flash her lights? No. She wouldn’t do that. She didn’t want to call attention to herself. She would just drive as closely to The Bob’s car as possible, being careful not to tap its bumper. But she just needed to make sure there were no cops around. The last thing she needed was to get pulled over for tailgating. That would slow her down. More importantly, it would be embarrassing. What if someone she knew drove by and spotted her pulled over on the side of the road while an officer wrote her a ticket? What if someone from her daughter’s school saw her? No. That wouldn’t do. She needed to be extremely cautious.

Gretchen moved her car as close to The Bob’s bumper as possible, trying to push her along, to get her to, at a bare minimum, reach the speed limit. Of course, her attempts were futile. The Bob just ambled on, erratically slowing down, speeding up ever so slightly and braking well before there was a need. If only Gretchen could just push the car in front of her, attach it to the front of her car like a snow plow and force the fucking driver to move.

Gretchen wondered if The Bob was even aware that she was on her tail. As far as she could tell, The Bob never even looked in the rearview mirror-not once. She just continued driving three miles below the speed limit, periodically speeding up only to return to three below within a few seconds, until, of course, she approached a traffic light. Then, long before there was ever a need, she began breaking, bringing her speed down to an unbearably slow rate before coming to a complete stop for the light that had just turned yellow. Sitting behind this woman, coming to a dead stop, at a yellow light when there was clearly more than enough time for both cars to make it through before the light turned red was too much. Gretchen cursed; her heart beat a savage rhythm. After being forced to sit idly at a yellow light when she had someplace to get to, she had reached her limit. What she really wanted to was get out of her car and punch the bitch. That’s what she wanted to do. Instead, however, she laid on the horn. She laid on hard and long and angry. Only then did The Bob look up, but just for a moment, as if to check what the sound was simply out of curiosity.

Finally, the light turned green. Of course The Bob sat for about two long seconds before accelerating. Moving slowly down the road, Gretchen searched for opportunities to pass, points where the solid yellow line broke up, indicating that it was safe to move into the oncoming lane. Of course, when those moments arose, there were always cars flowing from the opposite direction, making passing impossible.

Fearing she would be late, Gretchen felt a nervous energy surge through her. Her body began to tingle with the mix of anxiety, anger and frustration. She needed to pass this person. She needed to move forward. She felt like those poor bastards who, after swimming for hours in the frigid waters of the English Channel, were forced to quit because they kept getting pushed back by the tide.   Why should Gretchen be made to feel this way? She left her house on time. In fact, she left early. She had someplace to be. Being trapped behind this person was unfair.

Finally, Gretchen noticed that, up ahead, her side of the road opened into two lanes. Here was her opportunity. Granted, the sign indicated that the right lane was for right turns only. No matter. She was going to do it. She was going to risk getting caught by a cop. She was going to risk looking like a maniac in front of everyone who was about to witness her maneuver. Since you could turn right on red, she was even going to risk holding up the cars that lined up behind her. She didn’t care. This was war, and she had to view anyone stuck behind her as collateral damage. Of course, the irony of holding people up didn’t escape Gretchen; she just had to push that thought aside.

Slowly, The Bob and Gretchen moved towards the next set of traffic lights. As they approached, Gretchen watched the light turn yellow then red. It no longer mattered. Soon she would extricate herself from this unbearable situation. This was it. The Bob came to a complete stop. Gretchen pulled to the right and moved up beside her. Don’t look at her. Don’t worry if she looks at you. Of course, another car drove up behind Gretchen. Her stomach turned. She hated holding the person up. She hoped that traffic would come through the intersecting street, rendering the right on red option pointless. No one came though, and the driver of the car behind hers honked his horn. Don’t look at him. Focus. Once the light turned green, Gretchen would have to move fast. Finally it did. Gretchen floored the gas pedal, driving past the light and pulling in front of The Bob. Gretchen felt a sense of euphoria. She likened it to the feeling an animal must have when it escapes from a trapper’s cage.

She looked ahead. Traffic seemed relatively clear. She looked in her rearview mirror. There, far in the distance, was The Bob in her little blue car, moving slowly down the road. Fuck her.

Finally, Gretchen reached her destination. She found a place in the school parking lot. Excellent. 2:48. She still had seven minutes before she had to walk up to the door of the school to collect her daughter at dismissal. Gretchen felt tired, drained from the drive to the school. She pulled out her phone to check her messages. As she was reading, Gretchen sensed someone pull into the space to the right of hers. From the corner of her eye she could make out that it was a blue car. Shit. No.

Yes. Yes it was. It was The Bob. Gretchen commanded herself not to, under any circumstances, make eye contact with the woman. At precisely 2:55 Gretchen, not wanting to be late to retrieve her daughter, got out of her car.   The Bob, of course, seemed in no hurry. As Gretchen closed her door, however, The Bob emerged from her car. Don’t look at her. Don’t look up. Then Gretchen heard the sound of another parent call to her from the direction of The Bob’s car. Shit. Could she just ignore the person, pretend like she didn’t hear her? No. The woman was so loud, Gretchen had to have heard her. Again, the woman called out, “Hi Gretchen! I haven’t seen you in a while. I guess you always make it here ahead of me.” As Gretchen raised her head to respond, The Bob caught her eye. It happened. They made eye contact. Gretchen felt the familiar and uncomfortable hot and tingly sensation throughout her body. Her face became tight and somewhat twitchy and then, not having enough time to attend to all her racing thoughts, she managed a stiff grin. The Bob, the imperturbable Bob, placidly grinned back. Gretchen chirped back to the woman four cars down, “Oh, I rush in, grab my daughter and rush out.” Then they all made their way to the school doors. The Bob, moving slowly, calmly. Gretchen, scurrying quickly, nervously. She had someplace to be. She had to get there. She had to move. She had to move. She just had to move.

 

 

 

 

What’s Left to Say

From the recesses

of your clouded mind

there are things

you always find.

You retrieve these things

that I wish you would let pass

into a history

that will disappear

when the book is burned.

You apologize

for whatever it is

that makes all

“not right between us.”

And I tell you,

“there is nothing to be sorry for.”

This life has punished you enough.

I will bear the burden

of all that was

that we wish wasn’t.

I will set the book ablaze

and let the smoke

like memory

fade.

And us

and all that was

and is today,

that is my burden to bear.

It is something you cannot share.

You are too frail.

Your shoulders

too weak.

If it is comfort that you seek

from me,

I am here.

We are okay.

There is nothing to apologize for.

There is nothing left to say

other than

I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

Old Shoes

Old Shoes

In my twenties I had a strange paradoxical relationship with time and the notion of aging, so I engaged in preemptive measures to avoid something that I was certain would never come.   I was a dancer living in a rat infested apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan.  I was broke, but somehow I managed to have enough money for cigarettes and anti-wrinkle cream.  I thought I would live forever (hence my lack of concern regarding my smoking habit as it related to my health), and, if I were to live forever, I had to stave off the ravages of smoking (as they related to my skin) because, hell, no matter how old I was, I had damn well look good.  Of course, my idea of looking good at a ripe old age had nothing to do with aging gracefully and everything to do with preserving my twenty-two year old body so that it remained exactly as it was for eternity.

During those years, I was greatly inspired by my dance mistress.  No, she had not discovered the secret of immortality, but she certainly knew how to age gracefully.  At the time she was in her eighties and still teaching class and running her well respected contemporary dance company.  At her advanced age, she was still beautiful.  Her hair, dyed the same jet-black color it was in her youth, contrasted sharply with her ivory skin.  She was an elegant bohemian, living across from NYU in a dilapidated building.  She resided on the fifth floor which served as both her home and rehearsal space for her dance company and school. When she taught lessons, she didn’t stand in front of the mirror, cane in hand, and bark commands- she demonstrated.  She danced-carefully, gracefully.  And I would be remiss not to mention that she was as kind as she was beautiful.  She called herself a Catholic Buddhist and introduced me to yoga.  It was in her space that dance became a transcendental experience and I learned what it meant to be in spirit.  It seemed that she would live forever…and she almost did, passing away in 2014 at the age of 97.  Unfortunately, I had walked away from dance long before her passing, and, when the curtain fell on my life as a dancer, so too did my belief in immortality.  But a long life…I still trusted in that.

It wasn’t just my dance mistress that led me to believe that life would be long.  Three of my great-grandmothers also lived well into their nineties, and my grandmothers would make it to their mid-eighties. Even as I entered my forties, I was pretty convinced that I had plenty of time.  I still continued to dream about what I would be when I grew up, making plans to one day go back to choreographing dances or writing the great American novel, or, being monumentally immature, both.  Then the winter of 2014 came and everything changed.

I suppose a little backstory is in order.  Both of my parents were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.  My father was diagnosed ten years ago, shortly after the birth of my son.  My mother received her diagnoses three years later when I was pregnant with my daughter.  Some of us were never fully convinced that what my mother suffered from was in fact Parkinson’s.  Her lifelong battle with the world to be the sickest, most suffering, most ill-treated person in existence, had us skeptics, thinking, hoping, that, perhaps, her illness might be a bit psychosomatic.  Anyway, over the past few years, my mother also began showing signs of dementia, and this past winter she took a sudden and shockingly severe turn for the worse and fell into a downward spiral, rendering her incompetent and landing her in a nursing home at the age of sixty-nine.  Of course, the extreme stress of situation exacerbated my father’s Parkinson’s symptoms.  And, suddenly, I realized that life might not be as long as I thought it would.  Suddenly I  began looking at myself differently.  I was not a kid.  I was a woman in my forties.  I began to see the signs of age on my face, feel it’s gnarly crooked hand tugging on my body, making all the movements I did with ease in my youth, not so easy anymore.  I began to feel crushed by the heavy burden of stress and sadness over the loss of my mother as I knew her, over the loss of life as we knew it, over the loss my children suffered, for, until last January, they saw my parents, who lived five minutes down the road, on an almost daily basis.   Our already small family had become even smaller, and life became dark.

Over the past year, I have found myself making mathematical calculations and thinking thoughts like,  “Let’s see.  Mom is twenty-seven years older than me.  That means that when she was my age now I was fifteen years old.  But it doesn’t feel like I was fifteen so very long ago. Shit.  That went by really quickly.  What if I only have twenty-seven more years?  That would bring me to 69.  Twenty-seven years isn’t enough.”  How lovely, these persistent thoughts are.

Fixated on the relentless, merciless tick of the clock, not wanting anything to pass too quickly, I also found myself clinging.  Clinging to moments. Clinging to things that I thought would somehow keep time from slipping away-paper with my children’s scribbles, clothes my children had outgrown, toys my children were no longer interested in playing with.  Anything really that related to my children-the great loves of my life-because, as we know, they grow up; they leave. All good things must come to an end, and ends arrive far too soon.  Save everything.  Make things last.  Make things stay.  That was my subconscious philosophy.

So the new year arrived and I found myself, after all this saving, faced with the daunting task of cleaning out our shoe closet-a task I had been avoiding for what are now very obvious reasons, but, given that the door would no longer close, I had no choice other than to begin.  I had to purge it of all old, worn out and outgrown items. So I opened the door fully and took a long look. I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  Anyone familiar with panic attacks knows the sensation of a rapid heart beat and shallow breathe.  And then the lump in the throat, the heat rising to the face, the ears.  Fuck. No.  This is getting done.  I chocked it all in.  Forced all that surge of emotion back down into the pit of my gut and set to work.  I told myself I felt nothing.  I grabbed old, dirty sneakers, and tossed them in the trash.  I beat back images of my kids playing in those shoes.  I dismissed very specific memories that would lurch into my mind of my little ones dressed in those very items I now discarded.  I refused to acknowledge any feeling of loss.  I coldly carried out my mission…until I picked up those Minnie Mouse shoes. My daughter’s Minnie Mouse shoes.  I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t.  For a million reasons and for no particular reason. Those I put away for safe keeping.  I have my limits.

And so here we are.  2016.  Clean closet.  Only new shoes-except for the Minnie Mouse shoes.  Those I will keep.  Someday, when I am very, very  old (hopefully), I will take those shoes out of the box they are now in and feel joy-joy over happy times, for a life well lived.  There should be no sadness in happy memories.

So here’s to you.  Here’s to life.  May it be long.  May it be happy.  Let us walk in light, not in the shadows cast by others, by the past. Let’s preserve our memories in our minds and store a  very precious few in our basements. Let’s throw on a pair of new shoes and dance on and on and ……………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does the tree…?

Does the tree mourn the loss of her leaves?

As each begins to dry and shrivel, does she ache with the anticipation of what is to come?

Does the tree shed a tear for each leaf that drops from her limbs?

Does the tree weep as she stands naked and cold, towering over the remains

of all that once was,

all that will no longer be,

all that will dissolve to dust?

Does the tree, stripped bare, feel the cold shock of fear, knowing she is no longer who she was?

Does the tree tremble with the thought that, perhaps, this time, she will not survive the winter?

Does the tree mourn the loss of herself?

Late Autumn Visit to an Old New England Home

The quaint New England village

in mid-October.

Antique shops, country stores.

White-steepled churches

set against the backdrop

of fall’s spectacular display

of crimson and gold foliage.

And the old New England home.

Her porch adorned with cornstalks and pumpkins.

Her flowerbeds full of yellow and rust-colored mums.

Arrogantly she stands.

She knows her admirers.

How they delight in her unassuming

beauty.

So simple.

Tasteful.

Smart.

She leaves her admirers to wonder

whether she is listed in the registry

of historic homes.

No one

not even she

acknowledges that her charms will fade

with the dropping of the leaves.

*

Be patient.

Wait a bit.

Four weeks perhaps.

Then visit again.

This time

go on in.

Meet her.

Push open the door that doesn’t quite want to give.

She’s not easy, you know.

Hear the creak of the plank floor as you step inside.

Smell the mothballs

and the scent of doorknobs

touched too many times

by so many hands

that the odor

that’s permeated their surfaces

can never be removed.

Smell the faint aroma

of dried out pot roasts

from dinners that stole away days.

Feel the lifeless still

of 4:00

on a Sunday afternoon

in November.

Sit in the chair by the window

and see the world

from that filmy view.

The gray sky.

The skeleton trees.

Now, turn your gaze back inside

and watch the dust

dance

in the late autumn sun

that streaks tauntingly through the glass.

And watch

as a single particle

settles itself atop one of the many knickknacks

that sits lazily

upon the mantel.

Hear the clock.

Each tick

reminding you

of how very long

a day can be.

In the sickening stillness

feel the unbearable loneliness.

Catch your breath.

Breathe in deeply.

Push the air past

the knot

in your throat.

As you sit, feel the house.

The weight

of her past.

So close, really.

What’s 200 years?

Certainly not enough time

for the departed

to resign themselves

to their fate.