Near-winter dampness invades the room,
infects our space, lingers in the air like
twinning wisps of frigid breath and
smoke from your cigarette.
You cannot speak or won’t.
Perhaps you heard me. Maybe not.
Or did you seal your ears against the sound
of my newfound understanding?
By the ice-etched window, quiet still,
you stand, scratching petroglyphs
with your fingernail, eyes fixed on a quail
huddled in the branches of a juniper.
Remembering how I wept
when first I read those words,
(only a girl, I could not comprehend
an ending without joy) I sigh.
And though you do not say them now—
not my dear, nor brutal acclamation,
silence screams across the room. It’s true,
you do not give a damn.
But unlike Rhett, you stay—
a witness to hope’s dying whisper.
You do not stir the embers struggling
to give warmth. Our fireplace goes cold.
So happy to be back in the Pub with all my poet friends. Sorry to be so late in posting and visiting you. This is an old poem and it is fiction, thank God.