This Evening I can Write the Saddest Lines

I wrote this poem after the last boxes were packed up from our home in Annapolis in July 2019.  I stood surveying the emptiness of the house, resting in the weight of its hollowness.  We didn't know what lay ahead.  We were moving to Ethiopia. 

This evening I can write the saddest lines*

Write, for example, “One day my children
will no longer create art for me.”
The Magothy river breeze pushes through our yard and sings.
This evening I can write the saddest lines
I loved our years here and they are gone forever
Through evenings like this one, my children bounced in our trampoline
How I loved to hear their squeals of delight.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines
To think that I have lost this, to feel that it is gone.
To hear the echoes in our empty home, still emptier without them
And the verse falls to my soul, like the sun setting in our backyard
What does it matter that our love did not keep us here
The house is empty and they are not with me.
This is all. In the distance children yell and play. In this distance
My soul is not satisfied that we are leaving.
My mind tries to freeze and frame these memories
My heart aches for them but they are not with me.
The same dusk kisses yellow upon the leaves of our walnut tree
We of these years are no longer the same
I no longer live here, that’s certain, but how I loved it
My heart searched the halls for a way to make us stay
Another. Another home will be ours. Like this one that poured loved into our lives.
New halls, new kitchens, new laughter, new tears, new love.
Because through evenings like this one, I held my children in my arms
Because through nights like this one, I kissed my beloved’s lips,
Our eyes searching into each other.
My soul is satisfied that we have our family.
Though more moves may make me suffer
And these the last verses I write for our home in Cape St. Claire.

*This is obviously my personal take on Pablo Neruda's "Tonight I can Write the Saddest Lines"


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