“Here for the Poetry”

Creatives gather, pouring out their souls
Orating vulnerabilities while
Appealing to the ears there to hear their spoken truths.
Competing with drink orders
Made in noisy espresso machines and blenders.

“This is a poem about my grandmother.”
Expressing heartfelt truths of love and sadness.
While students in the corner
Giggle and whisper
As if no one is speaking.

“Shhh,” whispers the man
To the bag lady on his left.
Pulling bags from under her layers of clothes,
Organizing them all
Unbound and straight
She ties them up, separately
One by one.

“This one is about my time in Israel.”
Recounting the past of her grandparents
And other holocaust survivors.
Sharing a special bond
While the old man searches for an outlet,
“Excuse me.”
“Excuse me.”
Nazis. Loss. iphones.

“This poem is about private moments after our wedding ceremony.”
Sacred. Special. A time to breathe.
Sharing details as the woman crunches
Her panini and sips her organic, sugar free,
Non-fat, non-flavored tea.
Hot water please.

“This is about my daughter and our relationship.”
The door swings open and an old man struggles inside
Stopping in the doorway to check out the scene.
He hesitates, deciding finally to
Shuffle his old body wrapped around a backpack
To the coffee bar.

“One more poem about my grandmother.”
I see a woman staring at me,
Pointing me out to a gentleman next to her.
I pretend not to notice and hope my own awkwardness
Doesn’t betray me.
She approaches me – bends down and speaks,
“Oh, I thought you were somebody that I knew, but you are not her.”
I smile at her and say,
“I am just here for the poetry.”

 

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“Alone”

The woods are eerily still along the winding driveway as my headlights catch glimpses of the hidden secrets of the darkness, careful not to reveal their shadows. The only sound is the gravel crackling and echoing under my wheels as I ease into the garage. The house sits peacefully covered in a layer of dewy silence under the night sky, nestled in the darkness of the woods. The inside remains still and untouched, just as we left it. I am reminded of how long it’s been since I’ve been here, since we’ve been here.

My eyes cannot see through the darkness of the backyard out the bay window; walking the grounds will have to wait until day break. The drive was long, and I am tired. I stir the house awake by lighting a fire and it wastes no time spitting and screaming at me, as the orange glow of the flames sets my skin ablaze. It is the most perfect kind of warmth matched only by being wrapped up in your arms.

Drifting off to sleep and wrapped up in the warmth of the fire, my mind carries me to you like a delicate leaf caught up in the autumn wind and gently places me on the memory of the last time we were together. I cannot stop myself, maybe the morning will be better.

The birds singing their morning song from high atop the waving oak trees has replaced my alarm clock. Upon waking, I am reminded how much I love the sounds of nature. Your side of the bed sits cold and untouched. I dreamed you’d come.

It is cold here today, just like you like it. I loaded the wood burning stove with three large pieces of wood placed in a triangle just as you showed, me all those years ago, before heading out back to check the grounds. The pine trees are over twenty feet tall and have filled out nicely. I was able to gather a collection of their discarded pine cones that I will use for holiday decorations this year, maybe. It is beautiful and peaceful up here this time of year with the leaves changing colors and I wish you were here.

While sipping my coffee on the deck today, the tall oaks seemed to cautiously wave at me, careful not to disturb because they know what I know…I’m alone.