September 16, 2008

Jessicca Daigle Vidrine

STILL LIFE

is the night I decided to drive back
to our old house.
I had danced all night in a bar
where someone slipped his arm around
my waist and whispered in my ear
that I was beautiful.
I thought about taking him to a motel
so I could hear more whispers
about how beautiful I am.
Instead I drove our old station wagon
for what felt like hours
until daylight opened up before me
illuminating the once familiar roads.

I stood in front of our old house
in wonderment and tried to listen
for familiar sounds of you,
our old life behind the walls.
All I heard was silence
that even the sounds of mating
crickets couldn’t break.

I stood staring, taking it all in
until my old life became visible—
and I saw your shoes
still forgotten by the front door
soiled, rotting with mud.
I recalled newspapers left unread
still folded next to cups of coffee
you never seemed to finish.
There is still that crack
in the brick of the front walkway,
a broken window in the garage,
and I wondered if you ever fixed
the faucet that dripped
for most of our marriage—
and the sounds of the lonely
crickets soon forgotten
finally broke the silence.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007