Searching

by Witt Wittman
SplashHall Poetry
Third Place, December 2009
Judged by Majid Naficy


Contemplating the disarray of the bedroom,
I picked up one paint-splattered shoe.
You always wore your good clothes
when you decided to tackle a project.
Good clothes became work clothes,
yet you never wanted anything new.
I tossed the shoe into your closet;
that was all I could do.

Wandering into the den,
I plopped into your easy chair,
slipped my feet under the crocheted blanket.
Our daughter made it for you,
but it wasn’t comfortable.
I don’t belong here in your place.

Throwing off the blanket,
I sat on the floor and
looked at your puzzle board―
pieces in piles of greens, blues, tans―
the edges completed.
I should pick it up and put it away,
but the den would look bare without it.

I strolled onto the porch,
our favorite place to sit and play.
Still learning after all these years,
you were always thrilled when I won in dominoes.
Spider webs decorate your chair,
not quite covering the holes burned there
by your ever-present cigarettes.

I lean on the railing,
seeking more signs of you.


The third poem is written from the point of view of a survivor searching for the signs of her deceased husband in different objects and corners in their old house. --Majid Naficy

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