The Song of Penelope: Is it really you, Odysseus?

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We move through our house as guests

so polite.. I am sorry, would you like

to brush your teeth first?

I brew coffee, let the dogs outside.

There is no frost on the grass yet,

but it is cold and wet

with September dew.

October strolls in and it is hard to remember

who it is I wake up next to in bed.

I have lost the idea of you;

or you have changed,

or have I?

Magnanimous strangers the next weeks.

There is morning frost.

I wear slippers when I let out the dogs.

You no longer want coffee in the morning.

I drink alone.

Dreading the wolves of winter,

I would hide from December.

You embrace enforced gaiety.

I embrace a bottle and Morpheus.

Just let me sleep until the new year;

There is promise in January and light.

You love me, you say

momentarily distracted from your own thoughts.

We belong

together.

We are good

together.

I don’t believe this anymore, but I nod.

Ignoring February’s valentines and flowers,

my heart beats elsewhere

the house echoes with its rhythm

my heartbeats go unanswered.

I am utterly alone.

The thaw comes before the rains.

The dogs rush outdoors in the morning

green scent of March still clinging to their coats

when they barrel back inside.

You notice that I am drinking coffee

and ask if there is some left

for you.

I cannot remember how you drink your coffee:

black or brown or white.

You watch me pour with a stranger’s eyes.

I offer you the cup 

and ask how you take it.

Spring and summer

cinematic speed.

I no longer miss you.

I no longer kiss you

goodnight

and yet you tell everyone still

we are so good

together.

I do not know who you are

or if I like you

anymore.

I move through the house like a gust of autumn wind,

October storm to clear away the dust

left too long sitting.

I ask you to move our bed,

politely as I would ask a stranger

for help:

Please shift our bed so that

I can clear away the dust beneath.

You look at me, astonished eyes

and say that our bed

cannot be moved

by man on earth.

Roots of olive

plumb and true,

inlaid with golden hope and

silver dreams,

it cannot be moved

and

by those words

I know you once again.

 

Images from Google

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