She’s Gone

She left me when the sun’s warmth
was just peeking through my window,
when the first cardinal could hold in
his daybreak song no more, when the smell
of dark roast wafted up the stairwell,
invading my lonely sleep.

She was my muse, the one I wrote
melodies for, the one who cradled
my wounded breast against the soft
of her skin, stroked my hair,
told me it would be a day when pain
would hide, only music would abide.

But now she’s gone,
life seems flat
out of tune.

Swale of a Day

Mimic of mockingbirds cavorted in the trees
In the shallow swale of a fragrant June afternoon,
passing tidbits of gossip heard from squirrels
raiding the neighborhood bird feeders, commenting
on the joyful brood of children splashing in the
summer creek, warily scanning the horizon,
hoping today might be free of another sudden storm.

Grey cat watched and listened, old enough to know
he’d never catch a bird, no matter how rich the thought,
yet hoping, perhaps, his daydream of birds raining
from the trees would come true, knowing the only rain
that fell was the kind that dampened his fur, left him
self-grooming in the sun after the clouds departed.

Bumblebees buzzed the flowers, bathed in pollen,
then alighting anew on a sundrenched, colorful host,
only to flitter to another, again and again.

So it went on a steamy, afternoon, baked
in shafts of sun streaking through the slender
drift of clouds casting shadows across the meadows
of a rolling East Texas bottomland landscape.

Around the Bend

Shadowed in hues of olive green and soft gold
unread stories await around the bend
nestled by a ribbon of blue water
flowing through a sun-stroked valley

a woman I’ve yet to meet, her chestnut hair, hazel eyes
treasured smile that pulls, tugs, twitches at the corners
of moist coral pink lips

family farm with chickens endlessly pecking
rabbit nibbling newly emerged sprouts
in the vegetable garden
my mother making gooseberry pie
teenager steering a wagon filled
with hay pulled by an ancient red tractor
father welcoming the lunch bell
ready for sparkling iced tea
savory roasted chicken
corn freshly off the cob

ball of puppy fur nipping at my heals
puppy breathe seeking to plant warm kisses on my neck

family picnic with blankets cast in the fragrant grass
beside a glowing river, a screeching blue jay,
squirrels, like children, playing tag
red tail hawk gliding on the thermals overhead
two horses grazing in a wildflower strewn meadow

Imagining these untold stories
drew me down the road
around the bend

Long Goodbye

My life is an old cupboard
gathering fingerprints in the dust,
memories locked inside,
distant images no longer recognized.

In recent years shadows crept
across family faces I once knew,
thoughts I once treasured leave me trapped
in today with no yesterday or tomorrow.

She says she is my daughter,
but I only see her faded smile
and sad regret.

A piano plays a tune,
someone sings words that sound familiar,
they offer me broth,
smooth but tasteless.

Frustration, anger, overwhelmed by grief,
sadness rules my crumbling thoughts.
For just a moment I have visions of yesterday,
dreams and memories on full display.

But too soon they fade,
cupboard’s locked again,
lost in silence,
out of view beyond my reach.

Palette of my Soul

I live in fractured colors,
shards of thoughts
dripping down my face

I swim in pools of white darkness,
colors cast through droplets
on my cheeks

I sit in plaintive hues,
painted in coated black frame
sadness across my brow

I live in ruptured colors,
alive, yet dead within
for rainbow pallet

come spring

Peter A. Witt is a Texas Poet and a retired university professor. He also writes family history with a book about his aunt published by the Texas A&M Press. His poetry has been published on various sites including Verse-Virtual, Indian Periodical, Fleas on the Dog, Inspired, Open Skies Quarterly, Active Muse, New Verse News, and WryTimes.