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After the Cancer

Sometimes I hear you call to me, within the morning rain,
or the sound of your soft footsteps, faint echoes from the stairs.
And when I find reflections in my coffee cup again,
I can’t bring myself to turn and see that you’re not there.
Hard not to look at pictures, they hang on every wall;
wouldn’t help to take them down, so for now I’ll leave them here
as framed reminders that we ever happened at all.
Some nights I stay up drinking, past putting our love to bed;
I might imagine a ring, and rush to pick up the phone
just to hear the static hush of nothing more to be said—
no words of the past or where our future has gone.
I even hope a wrong number is you trying to call;
guess I can’t quite get used to nights awake and alone,
sitting here wondering if we ever happened at all.
You’d say it’s about time to put this bottle back on its shelf,
because I’ve got some things to do.  And I’m sure that you would
wink and remind me to start getting over myself;
and for sure you’d be right, I know that I should
get on living without you by small steps or a crawl.
For the sake of our children, you’d have stayed if you could;
they’re the beautiful proof: we really happened after all.


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