Things You Never Told Her

In dusty musty boxes

In the basement corner near the back

Papers yellowing with age

Edges curling crinkled

Ink is smudged and

Pencil smearing

Cardboard soft and slightly limping

Are the words that choke you

In the middle of the night

How the sunlight dancing through her hair

Is magic when she lifts her face to laugh

Because she had a thought which pleased her

So she glanced over her shoulder

When her eyes met yours you felt it

Underneath your bones

Electric

How her presence in the darkest nights

Her even softest breathing of her sleeping

On more than one occasion anchored you to life

When her hand brushed up against yours

Fingers intertwining

Held you steady as your fears came creeping

That her touch banished them from sight

How the glimpse of her turning dancing movements

As she measured out a song while she was cooking in the kitchen

And her voice would sing along

That the joy arising from her gave you one more thing to love

About a life that had been dark and wary

Stressed and sacrificial

Maybe she never knew how she was balm to healing pressures

Maybe she never saw her worth beyond a budgeted refusal

Frugal and self reliant

She fixed and healed and tidied

Maybe she wept at times for lack

Maybe she questioned every penny of her worth

Maybe she longed for one more word of kindness

Maybe she wished for a hand which reached her heart

Maybe she knew

How every day you counted her first among your blessings

Some pages in the boxes stuck together

Moldering in cardboard splitting at the seams

Bending breaking open

Spilling letters onto concrete in the basement of your heart

The words running together

In wild fantastic herds

They have galloped across the plains into the forests

Grazing underbrush of lines growing thick

Around the trembling trunks of trees

All the poetry you feel is falling floating down

Drifting in paragraphs

In autumn colors just like leaves

As you trace the patterns on her hands

Watching wrinkles crinkle careless at the corners of her eyes

As she gazes at the antics of the chipmunks just outside

Maybe her smile is warmer, brighter when her glance meets yours

Maybe she reads each unsaid word there within the light

Glowing from within the silence of the corner boxes

In the basement near the back

Spontaneously combusted in the twilight of your life

As the flames dance and spark there

Behind your eyes

All the things you never told her

Flickering tendrils in the darkness

Became her hearth and home

person standing on brown wooden floor
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Ghosts of Ghosts

It’s happened before

After moving

To see the hint of a friend from before

In a person I’m meeting for the first time

Just a ghost of a ghost

A common curve of the chin

Combined with a curiously familiar tilt of the head

It’s that guy’s eyes who remind my of a mentor

And that one’s shape of his head and how his teeth flash

When he laughs

Which whispers to me of another

It’s in a gesture reminiscent that she used

Which tells me a story of time long passed

Not for the first time have I wondered if the Universe

Ran out of templates

Cobbling together new people from bits of the old ones

We’re not snowflakes formed crystalline from moisture

In the frozen air

Unique

We are passed down and spliced and rearranged

Through the complex genetic shuffling

We are mirrors of each other

We are spirits grounded

We are expressions of something more than ourselves

And we are haunted

By ghosts of ghosts

Carefully knitting the past to the future

With present yarns