wandering from room to room
afraid of the radiator clangs
unsure if they can be fixed.
Looking at your yellow sweater on our bed
memories of dressy, happy times,
standing close by the fireplace,
you at least a head taller than I
a handsome couple
before my accident, before you got sick
before you died, before I got deathly ill.
Loving people come and go
a treasure, and yet I have not cried
for two days.
The world looks plastic, fake
Life goes on for seemingly
everyone but me.
My heart was ripped in half
when you left. I want you back.
Others are kind and caring, but
who does all you did for me,
accommodating all my idiosyncrasies'
so kind and thoughtful
so much time to comfortably meander
on our quests, so comforting
my hand under the hand on your knee,
the feel of you.
Where is my life?
I'm so alone.
Just walk through that door.
Cold, chilled, fall is arriving,
Days sitting in the sun like a lizard
Empty spaces to fill
Drive for the first time,
to the river to walk?
No silver bullet waiting to wave to
to call to, to share, to hop
What would you have done?
I doubt you would
travel to see your daughters.
Mother, you called me.
You would have made a good mother,
I understood the depth and breadth
of my love for you
when I found myself
doing things I said
I would never do again:
close the door of the family house
for the last time,
watch someone die of congestive heart failure.
Couples have a secret language,
code words, a life and world shared.
Plans for the future.
You loved me with a pure and loyal heart
You treasured me and found me strong and smart.
You were proud of me.
You would fight and die for me.
How can I bear this?
People love me, but
none of them are you.
About the Author
Elsa Lichman, from Massachusetts, is a contributor to the journal as well a a columnist for the Waltham News Tribune and the Natural Living Journal. She is a retired social worker who has turned to the arts in retirement and during the Covid era: writing, singing, and drawing, as well as utilizing meditation, to gain perspective and heal.