The knot in my stomach


squeezing tears, dripping

like a soaked towel left on the clothesline in

pouring rain twisted

in clenched fists.

I’ve missed you so much

just as you miss him

now still here, yet not

Forcing myself to remember better

times at the playground I no longer recognize

modern mounds of green short of chained pleasures

smaller and tighter

Dolly in her stroller, she used to sit and swing

secure next to me as you kept watch

all ghosts there now

We, in our world playing with dolls

at that park

in the living room, on the kitchen table

I hold onto the grainy snapshots

as you sit near me no longer here

Now you cower alone in the kitchen

listening to melodies of his native tongue

understood better than when he spoke to you

And you cry as I cry

gripping, face twisted and squeezed

wishing he would visit you in this desolate place

while all I want is your eyes to return

to see a pretty sunrise

or a robin pecking in the yard

I know you cannot, will

not allow yourself such pleasures

Angry words burn

in my head as I realize we are

the same

guilt and loss, a penance

boring holes too deep to fill with

empty words now