I suppose it would not have been much to simply sit there and listen.
But it began again, that same argument that we’ve been having
for the past ten years.
“Listening never hurt anybody,” my Mother would say to me
as I’d ball my fists and cover my eyes.
All the same, I had neither the patience nor the time to learn about
how wrong I was again.

So I left.
And in doing so, lost another opportunity.

When they found you the next morning,
it had happened sometime in the night.
“A look of calm,” Mother said.
They called me at work, some hours later, and a meeting I left
went on without me. When the tears finally came, weeks had gone by.
Days of confusion, moments of realization, and hours of memories
that all had to be sorted and properly disposed of,
like the surgical gloves I wore when I last took your hand.


© 2002 Anthony Sell
Originally published in “Clouds Across the Stars, Letters from the Soul Series” (Page 109). Noah Bevins, Editor. MD: Watermark Press, The International Library of Poetry

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