absent friends collage

write 31 days: dreamscape – day 30


I remember your house 
like it was my own. 
For a while, it was,

when we met there in front of the fire 
on winter mornings to talk about gardens, our lives, 
all of us nibbling from plates piled with each other’s food: 
quiche, cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, nuts, orange sections, 
homemade muffins and scones, sourdough loaves, 
and for a change a chick pea salad, French toast, 
lentil soup, pastries, all of it sweet 
and savory and shared. 

I remember the feel of your worn sofa and chairs, 
your retriever licking my hand, wanting to play, 
then settling, content, the morning light glancing 
into the front window, the rock wall I could see 
outside, and the old apple trees we talked about. 

Your house is still there, your dog --
we watched her age over the years -- buried 
beside daylilies and marked with rocks in the yard. 
You've moved -- new house, dog, garden -- 
but the familiar house remains, 
stranded, home to people whose presence 
only affirms an absence. 

In my heart is a map of a real place 
that doesn’t correspond with what’s true anymore. 

Years into a life, I've an atlas of lost places 
where I once was accustomed: days on end 
passed in friends’ bedrooms, living rooms, 
at their tables, dancing in their basements, 
kicking a ball in their backyards, patting their dogs. 
The places persist, most of them, 
and I could find them easily, map or no map, 
but what then? What then. 

First the dogs disappeared, 
then followed departures, transfers, 
strangers possessing floors, ceilings, echoes, 
silences, shadows and light that weren't theirs, 
yet, houses not vacant but incidental now, 
inconsequential except as haunts 
marked and mapped in memory, 
souvenirs of a tourist who 
loved these landmarks. 

© MMWms 2020


Landing Page for write 31 days – dreamscape

featured image: collage: absent friends, missing houses


  1. I really like this. Makes me think of places and people too. Nothing is constant in this life. Hope you are well. Dolly Pugh


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