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Lined now, still the envy of the crows and the mockingbirds.

Weighed down by stones wound tightly in gold and silver.

Tapping the hard wood of the table.

Spinning in slow circles as the whole world tilts around her.

She is growing impatient. The clocks all turn their faces away.

There is a statue of a wooden fisherman on the landing.

Light drapes the stairwell from a second story window.

Furniture that is meant to be admired, never used.

Green suede. Green. The same green as the paint on the wooden box in the bedroom.

In the closet. On the shelf. Out of sight.

Elevator down the hall. An after thought, an offering gathers dust.

Balcony to the west. Graveyard to the east.

Her husband never lived here.

Their house in limbo, half painted…half lived in.

Only half remembered.

And we are sitting in this memory, and she is reading me like a book she wrote herself.

Riddles from a far away mind, but she knows what she is saying.

And I understand what I must do

"One will stay, one has gone. You have a choice that is no choice at all."

© Elizabeth McLaughlin


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