A Barren Life

 Her rooms reflected life lived too carefully,
Childhood retained into ninth decade,
No dust at all upon the shelves,
Hummel figurines barren of sex,
Displayed for company that never comes….
Dry skin and thin bones
Fragile as white cracked china.

Sadness settles upon barren afternoon,
Oversized shadows yet light seems thin,
Words sparse, too clean her virgin life
Denuded of any thought of lovers….
Parents buried but alive within her living grief….
She paid them honor along with
Thousand aches and pains, an empty heart,
Wrapped in tissues longing for death.

I sat in the only comfortable chair—
Vacant, unused for months…
She sat in hard wooden one, back stiff,
Spoke of her life as civic history,
Vanilla ice cream served with little silver spoons,
Polished properly, too properly perhaps….
I wonder if she ever stained her blouse
With watermelon juice, ate fried chicken with no fork,
Licked greasy fingers,
Ran barefoot through green grass,
Felt the morning wind upon her face.


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