Issue Twelve - March 2008

A Visit in West Haven

By Judith Miller

If I could say where I had been today,
describe a room holding its breath behind drawn, faded drapes,
hoarding its hope against the cruel demands of light.
If I could name the pleasantries punctiliously observed,
old glasses (like we all had, growing up)
with perfect ice cubes melting quietly in each, two soda bottles
and a lemonade container ranged across the table,
quotidian barricade against despair, or too much sentiment.
If I could map the alien terrain
where a TV is always on, and someone is dying,
where conversation runs to miracles, the small indignities of bodily betrayal,
events that happened months ago back at the office.
If I could choreograph that movement to the icebox for fresh ice,
the slow, deliberate tread from here to there
to here again, a journey undertaken for the sake of grace, of friendship,
and of being, still, alive.

©2008 Judith Miller