Gathering dust and spider webs,

They sat there through the years,

Not even lifted to a passing broom.

They occupied the soundless corner

On the age-worn bricks

Of the corner of the living room.


He'd come in from the barn

With that crooked grin she loved,

His hand still clutched around his favorite tool.

He'd sat him in the sunspot,

Brushing brown hair from his brow,

Upon the padded cushion of the stool.


He was muddy from the pasture,

Tired from herding all the angus

Up the planking of the cattle chute.

She'd knelt down there before him

Pulling gently now to help him

With the task of taking off each rubber boot.


He'd laid his hand atop her curls,

Speaking of how much he loved her

Then he bent and kissed her on her brow,

Saying that for just a moment

He thought since he was tired

He would lie and just rest a bit for now.


He stood and pressed her to him

As his lips touched hers so warmly,

Then he went and lay upon their walnut bed.

He did not come for supper

So she let him, quiet, lie

Never knowing by the morning he'd be dead.


And, so, she never moved his boots

Nor yet the old and padded stool,

But left them as they were that final day

When he'd laid his hand atop her curls

And told her how he loved her...

Never knowing it was the last that he would say.


She liked them as he'd left them

And that was more important

Than if some years of dust might settle down.

It was how she lived without him,

Without that brown hair and that grin,

How she floated in the storm and did not drown.





Jo Anzalone  Feb. 17, 2007


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