Empty Chair

Written for my late husband, who passed away almost ten years ago.

As the warm,
comforting glow of
Yuletide shenanigans,
wraps itself around
my melted heart.
As the last candle on
the mantel,
sings a soliloquy and
melts into new
incarnations of its waxy self.
And the ten years since you
rendezvoused with
the light side,
I see your chair
all empty there.
Missing you.

That last Christmas.
Heaven knew
that the angel of time
was pausing
her inhibiting breath,
whilst you cherished your last.
We gasped those last months
in expanses of
winterscape lungs.
And I don’t know
but I’m sure the universe
painted our visions
titanium white,
what with the snow and
cerulean, stark winter sun skies.
I see the space in our bed.
The place where once was
mortal.
All empty there.
Missing you.

I knew you’d be here.
And you were.
Amidst the shreds of gaudy
and rips of tearing carnage.
Presents from a widow’s
best efforts.
Brave smiles, well-rehearsed
after ten years of
Xmas dinners for two
and only one big one
at the table.
Playing secret Santa
and making all the
responsibilities
look easy.
There should’ve been
Frolicking with crackers,
and snapping away
our feigned hilarity
as we tossed lame jokes
into joyous memories.
But turkey’s for two
now.
Your plate all empty there.
Missing you.

Sarah Drury 2020.

Kansas

Inspired by The Wizard of Oz.

We’re not in Kansas anymore,
Dorothy.
That yellow brick road,
paved with childhood dreams
and nothing’s real,
it seems.
No place like home
is a metaphor
for tossing daydreams
on the floor
and moving on.
Always feeling you’ve
met the one,
and sacrificing hearts
on platters of gold.
Kisses going cheap
and desires burning
brash and bold.
Passion consuming
barren chasms
and all the times you told
me I was jealous.
Wasn’t my fault
your appetite
was overzealous.

But we’re not in Kansas anymore,
Dorothy.
And you can sing your songs
of bluebirds in the sky,
and I’ll cherish this moment
with no one asking why
I live in my dreams.
Fantasies proving high
upon my rosy specs.
But no one really checks
the spectrum of rainbows.
Hearts love in myriad shades of pink,
and where the black goes
I don’t know.

But it’s nice here.
Shedding happy tears
and taking in the view.
Trading in the past
for futures that I
always knew.
And we’re not in Kansas anymore,
Dorothy.
Not going back
with the naïve clickety clack
or your ruby red shoe.

Sarah Drury