The Presence Of Your Absence

Today, I came home to empty rooms.
Stillness and silence lie on the rugs
Like an old dog reluctant to move,
And I am reminded
By the ghost of motion,
A spirit of sound, some spectral
Scent that still haunts these rooms,
As I stand in the presence of
Of your absence.

If memory were a ragged couch
Or worn chair I would carry
It out and set it by the curb,
Yet I cannot cast out phantoms
That possess this place and
Follow me about from room to room
Like a loyal dog, unwilling
To leave me unattended.

Today, at the door I was greeted
By your memory and paused
At the threshold a moment
To acknowledge you gone,
Like a happy fixture,
A friendly furnishing
That sat in my living room
For many years, now
Replaced by empty space,
As I wait in the presence of your
Absence, there is nowhere to sit.







--Doug Tanoury (1997)