Behind me our empty bed
is abandoned to the silent house.
No river sounds, no sounds of longing,
no cry that might be joy or terror.

Working loosely,
I block in the dark shadows.
The light spaces leap
into being.

My hands are stained with burnt umber,
yellow ochre, mars black. I put the shadows
down and watch the unpainted shapes
take form.

What is revealed then.

A white house in the woods, near a lake.
Dark cypress trees that threaten to sway
in a wind you can almost feel.

A long coin of sepia light,
ribboned with black water.

Now the brushes lean in a tin can,
wet and spent. A bad husband,
I mistreat them, leave them
splayed and broken.

In the kitchen a simple table
holds our plates, a glass of cold water,
a broken loaf, my hard
and empty arms.

(Thanks to Sulpher River Literary Review for taking this poem)