A family is gathering for a meal
    outside Spokane
    the daughter is still
    wearing her soccer uniform
    the mother is chatting
    as she passes the potatoes
    the father is nonverbal, tired
    trying to engage the dog is
    waiting for someone to share

    They will finish their dinners
    their conversations
    their homework
    they will turn on the television
    the phone will ring several times
    it will not be me

    No one in that house knows
    I live across the continent or
    I have tales to tell of my youth
    of my life, of what I did yesterday
    they don’t know I can cook or play
    guitar, or that I’m writing a poem
    they don’t know I’ve never
    been to Spokane and
    they’re not concerned

    they are finding their dreams
    building their lives
    breaking their hearts
    living out their days
    without knowing me
    and they are not the only ones

    In all my years
    the phone has never rung
    and a voice declared
    “Come quickly to Spokane
    we just realized we can’t
    go on without you”
    the same could be said
    for the table across the room
    from me here in the coffee shop

    the gossamer tether of humanity
    doesn’t appear to reach as far
    as the next booth unless the light
    is just right and I can see the lines
    I’m not sure which view
    is easier to live with


    1. ok, the “gossamer tether of humanity” really pulled me in; then the last line, i am sorry i have to ask, i don’t mean to over analyze, it is beautiful just to read , but do you mean when we do feel that intimate, hidden connection with others, even strangers, that is more difficult to deal with than the separateness we feel all around?
      i like how you put this thought down. i am forever thinking HOW many people there are in the world–and how i/we are such a minute portion…it depresses others if i speak of it, but it’s not meant to be…but this pretty much says it, right here.

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