Vacancy: a poem from my archive


Who can say where,
in the recesses of mind,
she has gone? Could it be
the delirium of exhaustion, or
the din of too many voices,
huddled in a tight circle
talking, like mocking birds,
of love, faith, and unanswered prayer?

Who wouldn’t back slowly
out of that airless room,
at the lure of some other realm,
built upon memories of ecstasy,
with our long-departed guest—
not this shallow offering of
fact and afterfact, life and afterlife—
when she has touched divine?

Perhaps she’s somewhere lovelier,
where words between friends
are more resonant and orchestral than
these short-of-breath assurances
to the contrary that this huddle,
enclosed as it is by water, bread, wine,
will not disperse like a dandelion clock
at the slightest breath of wind.


© 2008

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