Saturday, October 19, 2013

All These Houses

He left my body when fall winds turned to
winter.  Yawned a routine of sleep between
feedings, gummy grins, a shroud of talc where
nothing mattered except his eyes should close

and open. My need for him to be well
transformed me into someone I hadn’t
been before.  Philosopher in his third
summer he asked What do you think about

all these houses around here? Happy child
he made me a good mother until he
went to school and learned our house was not a
classroom or playground.  Aloof to inner

swings, he was lost there. How could he tell me
when he thought I’d never been?  Boy with
curtains closed behind blue eyes, his silence
a private gate I oiled when he wasn’t

looking, while I continued to hope my
hope created the landscape around him.
Now there is a whole life between us.  Gone
beyond these walls to his own house furnished

with windows I can’t see as though he were
a breeze that passed through mine, who will return
in the air’s curl no doors can hold.

(first issue of Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, 2003)

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