How a Doorbell Withers
Everything dies when someone you love dies.
Trees wilt back into their snug comforter of earth,
plants create snafus, fail to bloom;
even the newspaper curdles its ink.
Any speaking of lighter days dims:
Remember when we tangoed along the piazza?
But someone doesn’t nod yes,
isn’t capable of memory, its gold mine.
Before your question reaches him, he crumples
into the sports page, his mouth agape,
face flushed. You can’t recall what hour
he was whisked away in a kaleidoscope of sirens,
the house suddenly so large you no longer fit
comfortably inside. Didn’t even the doorbell wither
to a barely audible sound, and didn’t you think it him
ringing, his house key again locked in the car?
Editor’s Note: This poem’s brilliant use of repetition and personification flawlessly illuminates the speaker’s grief and sense of displacement.