Exit Plan

Happiness trotted through my
Limbs at a comfortable pace

At seeing his open face of
Appreciation for the day

No desire to have him share our
Blasé fate since he was sharing.

He knew how we felt and appeared
To delight in it.  Nothing objective to prove

This but there it was.  There, I can see it
When semi-lidded, staring at the moon.
Not now though, he’s gone, but here.
Just wait.

In the diner
The war and culture vets that placed us in
The last days of Rome sat up
Straight and Mr. Marin ordered pumpkin pie.

Mrs. Teller behind the counter beamed
And unconsciously (consciously?) pressed
Her biceps into her breasts for lift.

He had eyes that a dish could be dipped and
Drawn out coated with a new born’s film.

His arm wrapped around his mom
While she ordered.  He asked if they
Could join me as my table tilted welcome.

Coming home from work at 7 pm.
Brim down low and would have
kept walking.  But I hi’d twice.

Took no joy from the act of walking,
Like a well oiled zombie.  Perfunctory
Reminds me of a perfect flaw.

He had lines forward of his ears
From effort to keep out unwanted news.
Pallor of an electro shock patient.

Afraid to ask about him,
Instead said, Mom?
She left the door open.

- Paul Handley