Clouds gather, darken,

The car battery is dead,

Rhubarb in the alley is ready-

Red, a dog barks and barks

And barks and barks—the silence after

Turns into birdsong as the sun

Burns out from behind the clouds.

Venison chili warms on the stove,

A door slams, locks—nobody knows

The loneliness she owned.

A car-horn-alarm pulses its honk

On this sunny afternoon,

And no one thinks anything

Other than it’s a mistake, too late

For instructions, paying attention

To the signs. The power is out

And it’s broad daylight.

Broken branches, spruce cones,

Hollow bones litter the lawn.

If he called now, she’d answer

In that same, flat, detached tone

He’d grown accustomed to

Cheering up too many times

With sarcastic wit or sincere lies . . .

Tidbits that now smell of cigarettes

And exhaust. A beer can rattles

Down the stairs, it’s cloudy again,

And the garage lights indicate

The electricity is back on.

He considers the chili, stirring the pot,

And although he’s not hungry,

She’d have wanted him to eat it . . .

Thinking he owed that much to the deer.

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2 Responses to OPHELIA

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