The Week I Was Gone

Home sweet home.
Home sweet home.

My teeth wail with each step

As I walk around the yard,

Head tilted slightly aback,

Sandals muddied from recent rains.

Everything burns but nothing

Turns to ash, no smoke to be seen

Aside from the cigarette hanging

Drolly from my mother’s mouth.

I sweat the time from my body,

Rising one morning to head

To the city where I am to find out

What it means to work.

While I am gone, something happens,

But I am unaware in my

Christmas-lit patio drinking beer

That I’d rather not be consuming.

We make notes and play games,

Anything to excuse us from time

In the yard, where the sun is king

And he barters not.

I sweat more time from my body,

And then pack myself into

A van with cologne on the dash,

Myself against the gear shift.

Bumpy rides, trips to single homes

In vast nothingness next to

What I believe to be a salt pond,

But with nothing to prove it.

I return home, everyone asleep,

Business as usual in this house,

But I notice there is a body missing

And no one is talking.

The next day a strange man visits,

Entering only the foyer, no further,

Talking something about money

Before retuning to silence.

Steps are taken lightly as I cross

The threshold outside,

My mother sobbing into her hands,

Bitter tears of unknown origin.

I sweat yet more time from my body,

The pain in my teeth still felt

With every step I take on the earth,

Soon no strings to lift my limbs.

Composed 08/06/2012

Author’s Note: It’s always interesting to leave and then return to a place, even if for a short bit. I imagine I’ll have to write another poem for when I return to my training site next summer. Much time will have been sweat from my body by then.

Previous Posts

The Cult of Chinggis (Prose)

2 AM (Poetry)

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First Day of School (Prose)

Mine (Poetry)

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