Empty Nest Ghazal
After lunch, she moves from room to room,
To sidestep the tail-twitching afternoon.
Someone’s left a sock behind the door,
First furtive ambush of the afternoon.
Crusted mascara wand beside the sink:
Dry bones, the dessicated afternoon.
All useless spoor of time she sweeps away.
Still time stalks her through the afternoon.
Always the silent house, and hours till dinner –
Too many simmering hours of afternoon.
She sits to write. Love, Mother. She can sign
An unsent letter every afternoon.
by Sally Thomas
Editor’s Note: This poem uses the repetition of the ghazal form to great effect, mirroring the endless hours of missing a loved one who has gone away with delicate (but also relentless) sorrow.