by Kelley White

You’ve got a map open again
plotting a route away from me.
I know you’ll take days to pack
and there may be a few tender
moments, a meal shared, laughter
the farewell promise to return.
We both say its for the best but
I whisper no to myself, this domestic
war almost done, your hat gone
from the door hook, your coat,
your shoes no longer scattered
with dirty socks around the floor,
less dishes in the sink, less towels
to wash and even your little
dog is quiet, sleeping in front
of the open door.

Previously published in Fullosia Press.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: It truly cheered me to hear from Silver Birch Press today—I wanted to send something in reply right away. This is an older poem, written with sadness, but the door in the poem is open . . . and the relationship, somehow, actually has endured, though the couple are currently somewhat quarantined as one is a health care worker and the other is in his seventies with renal failure . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pediatrician Kelley White has worked in inner city Philadelphia and rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA. Her recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.