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by Roger Howard

One five o'clock a Monday morning,

created and born of a Sunday night,

we clenched our fists and held our breath

and failed to love our love to death.

You turned to me and in my ear

you feigned a kiss, a silent tear

and coughed the words

I longed to hear.

I held your hand, an old man then.

And died in my sleep.

You coughed again.


I close my eyes

and tease your apparition to appear,

a comforting spectral vision

sheltered in the depths

of my deliberate blindness.

Your memory so close,

you slide down the optic chiasma

and into my darkened sight.

Your eyes flashing,

as the campfires of a lost expedition

are visible from a distance

in the blackest of nights.


I keep the house dark

hoping you might appear

in a room,

at your desk,

standing before the

kitchen table as you did

without realizing it was

our final day together.

Whether you appear in my sightless gaze

or in the darkened air,

it is enough to know that while some

light candles to conjure away the night,

I wait patiently in the darkness

for the miracle of sight.

Roger Howard is a retired surgeon from Michigan who has relocated to the Clearwater, FL area. He has taken writing classes at The Gotham Writer’s Workshop in New York City and has been writing poetry for over 12 years. His poems have been published in ODET, a Tampa Bay literary journal, The Esthetic Apostle, the Pamplemousse literary journal and in the periodical The Senior Voice. He can frequently be heard reading at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center in Safety Harbor, Florida and is a member of the Safety Harbor Writers and Poets group. The poem he frequently comes back to for reflection and inspiration is “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

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November 2018

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