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by Wayne Thomas (Age: 67)
copyright 10-14-2011

Age Rating: 16 +

Where are you?

My thoughts ricochet off the early morning mist.
My footprints scuff slowly across the colorful carpet
   of dead and dying leaves.
Time drags, yet so quickly goes,
And sprouting from the ache I carry within,
I wonder so very much,
Where are you?

The ten room house is dead and empty now,
With only the pale ghosts of your passing.
My tattered slippers shuffle, listless,
On the bare but polished wooden floors
And ceramic tiles
Laid by our own hands.

My cane thumps softly on the braided rugs--
Our hands braided them as well,
Back in those other days
When nothing mattered except being us,
Drunk with delight on each other.
What happened?

Where are you?
Your little red Mustang is missing from the driveway;
My little blue and white Celica seems
So out of place and alone.
And on the floor of the empty garage,
Black smudges of oil and grease
Have been nicely kitty littered
And put to rest.

Tall lilies grow outside the single,
  still cracked window,
And on the wall above my now deserted workbench,
That cheesy calendar still says "1957"
As if either of us had any notion
Of time, or calendars, away back then.

I dust your small store of knickknacks
Scattered here and there around the house,
The house which once seemed so tiny and crowded--
And noisy--
And now just seems so big and so quiet
And so awfully empty.

Some of your clothes still hang in the closet.
I used to imagine you still here, wearing them.
But now they get the merest glance,
And I catch a lingering whiff of the lilac water--your favorite!
Things I've known for so many years
It hurts now to count them.
Next clothing drive, I promise myself,
Out they go!
But the question lingers, unanswered:
Where are you?

In the bottom left hand drawer of my desk,
Toward the back,
Is a foil covered box of your old letters,
Bound up in bright green ribbon.
They stay there, untouched.
And in the living room, on the shelves close by the fireplace,
Rows and rows of photo albums we worked so hard and long
To put together.
Sometimes, when I'm dusting and cleaning,
I'll touch them for a moment,
But I can't bear to open them.
Tell me, please:
Where ARE you?

That one frosty morning in October I slept in
Then awoke to find you gone,
I read the note you propped up on the coffee pot,
Read it again and again,
And would have gladly died right there
If God had let me.

But here I am,
Still crying myself ragged inside,
Letting everything I once clung to
Slowly die in my place,
Wanting only to know:

Where are you?

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        01-31-2012     Jeff Holt        

Wow, I can almost hear the silence, smell the Lilac and see the emptyness. Really Great.
A virtual tour of the lonely heart encapsulated in a massive tomb. Oh, been there, done that, didn't like it.

        10-27-2011     Frank Fields        

A special gift you have with words to make the reader ride along as your stories unfold. And to feel and see what what you would have us know. Special, indeed!

Frank :)

        10-21-2011     Wayne Thomas        

My spell checker seems to have fallen down on the job lately. I did check carefully, row upon row, and I think I got the spelling errors you mentioned. Thanks a ton for your sharp eyes and for the marvelous comment, almost a poem itself.
We'll try to do better next time!

        10-17-2011     Alan Reed        

Drunk with Delight On Each Other inspires adventure and leaves the good memories sitting on the bottom of a bird cage leaving the bittersweet in position for the golden lacquer you just applied.

Strangely enough, the piece reminds me of a not too new rendition of Enya singing Give Me a Sign, ...let me know where you are.

You captured, Wayne. This is so soft, silky with bits of grain. You had my head spinning - spinning so much decided that I overlooked a couple of spelling errors that are not normally your cup of tea. But what the hell, an e-mail to you wont make the write any better, really. This deserves six stars as soon as the minor scuffs are left unblemished in your own spelling verifier. . Sweet!! - Alan.

Oh, the images are swell, swollen with pride. Almost countless.

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