I miss the summer evenings
when you came home warm,
a lightness to your step,
a smile a glance away,
a clear twinkle, a lighter air.
There was more noise in summer,
though we never thought of it
as such. It was merely the vitality
that season brings, resonating
throughout the hills and valleys.
Winter is quieter, and colder too.
We walk through the frost
in black and white moods,
hugging frozen sweatersto freezing extremities.
"Empty Nest" was first published in The Poet's Haven in December 2013.
I hear you
through the cries
each clash and clatter
bemoaning the pains
of a misguided life.
for the pots and pans,
absorbing the brunt
of the blunt force
fares no better,
to the floor
as you curse
choosing to heed
the wailings of the
cabinet you kick,
the door you slam,
their mutual cries
It took but five days for me
to realize how much I enjoyed
parking my car in the garage,
the newly-cleared space
motivating me to clean house,
take stock, sort through, let go.
I cleared the closets of all you’d left behind,
donating personal items to charity,
selling the furniture on Craigslist.
Your tools I gave to a neighbor,
while the books I kept for myself.
The food, I ate. The wine, I drank.
Your mail I sorted, then forwarded
appropriately, every decision logical,
each choice perfectly sound.
The broken walls in your study
I accepted I couldn’t restore,
the foundation cracked beyond repair
in your unprecedented haste to leave.
I stayed but a few months more,
then quickly moved on as well
to a new home across town,
a precise miniature version
of all that had come before.
Come the spring of the first full year
since the day you walked out,
I found a pair of sunglasses
tucked away in a near-hidden
compartment in the console
of my car. Never used by me,
the eyewear was yours,
present all this time, but
unacknowledged ‘til now.
I held them but a moment,
then dropped them to the ground,
crushing them with the heel of my red Payless pumps.
The air was crisp and healing
as I finally drove home at last,
clear radio blasting, Let it Bleed, by The Stones.
Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in numerous magazines, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, The Endicott Review, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Miller’s Pond, The Penwood Review, Poem, Thema, The Tule Review, and Westward Quarterly. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from Amazon.com.