Friday, November 1, 2013

Where the Moose Was

She once took a picture of where the moose was. Not of the moose himself,
he was long gone before the camera was ready. But of that empty space
in the backyard, where he stood and looked at her with big confused eyes.
It was really something to see.

On New Year’s Eve we watch TV. Wait for a ball to drop. She nudges me
and points:  Guy Lombardo wants me. See. He smiles right at me.

She writes messages on the TV screen with black marker. They can’t hear
her words and who would be foolish enough to expect them to read lips?
She knows they see her. They always wave and smile, don’t they? They want her
to visit. She is sure she’d do well on TV.

There are people in the basement, she tells me. They come out at night.
Eat cookies. Leave crumbs on her bed. She puts on several blouses
all at once. The bed is layered with old towels, odd bits of paper, and dresses
too small to wear. Covers, she says. In case of cold or things that crumble.

She knows she has lost something. Keys, maybe money, her good rings,
words. Things disappear.  Her glasses have one cracked lens from the heat
in the oven. The nieces come and she offers them yogurt that she saved
in shot glasses. She hides extra coins in the knife drawer.

I watch her move in circles. Each gesture is still deliberate. She can’t explain it, but
like the moose she has places to be. She smiles and asks me my name again.

She is becoming empty spaces even as I watch. 

This poem was originally published in Rubbertop Review, volume 5, 2013

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