Separations Scenes

In memory of Harold Rippey - (28, 10, 1900 - ?, 7, 1970)

I knew you as a place we visited.

Not home.

Not a voice that put me to sleep.

Just a room behind a stamps store

In a forsaken part of Hoboken.

We arrived;

My mother,

The woman you still called your wife,

My two sisters, and I,

Children decorating a separation scene.

Not daughters.

Not permanent fixtures

Of a transient life.

Just overly dressed children,

Sitting on boxes

Which you referred to as chairs.

And I remember the silence.

Not ticklish pauses between passionate words.

Not preludes to a sudden embrace.

Just long passages

Of suspended noise.

Were you perhaps wondering,

Like I was,

How you managed to replace

The fields of your ancestors,

The Midwestern sky

With this?