Friday, August 07, 2009

Someone Is Not Going Home Tonight 

I can imagine how your morning went.
You calculated how much toothpaste
to put on your toothbrush.
You parted your straight hair with your favorite comb,
favored your black shirt over the red one
and checked if your white pants
were ironed well before putting it on.

I bet you never knew
you were not going home tonight.

You sat down quietly at the table,
said grace before your meal. You spread butter
over your toast, gave out reminders
to your kids like not to stay

you never knew
you were not going home tonight.

You shined your shoes and put them on.
You kissed your wife goodbye
and headed for the door.
With your hand holding on to your youngest,
laptop clutched on your left shoulder,
you stepped out of the gate, walked a few steps
and turned around to look back at your house.
You missed your wife’s wave of goodbye
for she was engaged with household chores.

If she only knew
you were not going home tonight.

I noticed the slur on your speech
how your tongue rolled out the syllables.
Maybe it was just an accent you had
you slumped like a candle.

A leaf does not cling to its twig forever.
And the bird perched on a tree has flown.
You may be an unnamed stranger,
but to me you shall forever be

someone who did not go home


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