I’m awake!

at two, three, or four in the morning

and I sit outside in the dark,

drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette,

under the underbelly of a huge,

grey-black raincloud.



from a distant hospital on a hill

and a near-by shopping plaza

give the necessary glow to this underbelly.

And it lies there, asleep, like a great grey whale.



like my neighbors,

and my wife,

even the dogs.

Was this the hour that you left us?

I was asleep only to be wakened

by the words, you were gone.

I came downstairs and stood by your bedside.

You’d left your suitcase behind.

It held the contents of a life,

the life of a 72 year-old woman

and all that she carried, as of late.


But something’s missing!

It didn’t hold what I knew of you.

Missing, were all your past possessions,

I witnessed them as a young boy.


was the pond you built by your own hands.


were the rocks you carried, from the river,

and set into careful place about the pond,

by your own hands.


the mulberry tree you planted at the center,

which may still grow

and produce the berries, somewhere.


It didn’t hold the grape arbor you had built,

trellised on the sides and the top,

and clung to by crawling white grapes.

Also missing was the horned toad

who had made all this her home.

(she’s probably gone now, too.)


We all share a slice of time, together,

as we would the communion wafer.

As each wafer’s consumed,

the communion ends,

and everyone goes home.


But I sit at this moment

under the underbelly

of this great wet whale,


before it too awakes and swims away.

And the sun also arises again.




©Marvin Loyd Welborn 2011


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