After His Separation

by PAT PHILLIPS WEST


My old friend wanders around
his half-empty dark house,
a compass without a needle.

He says the light switches don’t work.
He’s tried everything,
bottom to top and sideways.

Sorrow leeches from his pockets,
loss sticking to the bottom of his shoes
and anger raising hairs on the back of his neck.

Why, he asks, would she leave
a dress hanging in the closet,
but take my red and blue plaid shirt?

He lowers his head, shrugs his shoulders,
I want to tell her; she can’t do this.
He wears sadness, a scratchy wool

sweater room to room. We are silent
for a time, then he points
to the empty picture frame

on the bedroom wall. Our wedding pict . . .
choked voice turned humorless snort,
tears brimming his eyes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pat Phillip West’s poems appear in Haunted Waters Press, SPLASH, Clover, a Literary Rag, San Pedro River Review, and elsewhere. She is a multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee.

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