Copyright 2018 © by Karen Vorbeck Williams
you have come and gone
while I was waiting.
The doorlatch is still warm in my hand
but the shadows moving in the hall
are only wind.
I whisper to you,
straining to hear the stairs creek.
Cry down the chimney!
Knock at the window!
Why does waiting never happen?
Half hidden in the floor crack,
I found the hairpin you dropped.
I expected to see you—
expected fluffs of dust
to part and blow as you passed.
In firelight I smelled you,
your lost image waning on the wall.
Oh, Lady, such restless knowing,
such awful waiting
to find your hand someday in the dark.
photo art: Michael R JUstice
Dressed only in a lacy slip
On a summer afternoon
Sits in her parlor fanning herself
With a pink silk Chinese fan.
Sipping lemonade among
Feathery ferns, she sighs,
From my place below on her oriental rug,
I watch her fold the fan.
Slowly, she lifts a white chamois buffer
In her lovely hands.
“You don’t need polish, precious,”
She says, lightly buffing each gently
Tapered fingertip to a luster.
Afterwards, for a story,
I am allowed to sit in her lap,
To hold her hands, to run my fingers
Across the fine straight ridges
Above the half-moons of her nails.
Listening, I stroke her soft hand
And study the violet rivers in her palm
Then pinch the kitten pads on each finger.
I twist her diamond in the sunlight
And make the room fill up with stars.