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How He Said Goodbye

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In the midst of darkness and
shadows cast by the moonlight,
faraway floorboards crack with old age.
Two feet and a cane create a
thump-thump thump beat
as he walks down the desolate hall.

He knows we have left him;
he knows I did too. Yet he still
reaches for my brass doorknob,
I hear it click as it turns, and uses one
wrinkled bare foot to stop the door from
closing.

I can’t be sure, but I feel his head
lean in through the gap left by the door. His
hand, slowed down by age, reaches up to
smooth lasting strands
of hair over his bald head.

His eyes blink as they wait
for the dark to familiarize.
He scans the room, landing on
my still figure, listening to my
steady breath, and seeing if I am asleep.

Two feet and a cane walk across my
wooden floor, padded by old shag circa 1970.
As my muscles stiffen with anticipation
of being caught as awake, he leans over me,
one face above another.

My eyes open to a slit,
my lashes making them look closed, but I am
blinded my the shine of his metal-rimmed glasses.

Soon, I feel the crevices of his coarse, cold
hands graze the bottom of my chin. He cups it
and pulls it until my face is tipped towards
the top of my open window, with curtains
dancing in the night wind.

“See that?” He asks me, knowing I’m
awake. “That is where I’ll be.” Then I look away from
the moon and the stars and listen as his cold body falls to
the wooden floor.





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