by Anne McCrady
There are no smells of supper cooking
in the skillet that rests behind cabinet doors
that match the ones hiding your plates
and cups, your measuring spoons and mixing bowls.
Dishcloths sleep folded in top drawers;
kitchen chairs are gathered close around the table
like fearful children to their mother’s side.
The fireplace, hungry for logs and glowing ashes,
crouches cold and vacant against a book-cased wall.
Upstairs, wide windows frame an open sky
from inside rooms where clothes hang lifeless
and the beds crave the weight of sleep.
The carpet, with its uncrushed strands,
is as clean as a Sunday morning suit:
no slips of thread, no paper scraps,
no brittle bits of leaf or grass.
There is no one to scuff muddy feet outside
the door or ring the bell…or answer.
But you are here as sure as when I visited
last week, when life still slipped along
as it has done for all these years.
I’ll gather things that you will want
in your new place and hope you will not hear
in what I bring, the silence
you have left behind.
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