The telephone no longer rings
A quick call from Audrey, wondering
If I'd like to go with her to Nordstrums
To return a blouse
Or need a ride to book club -
Maybe this time we won't get lost.
She didn't like the book.
I don't have breakfast with Elaine
At seven in the smoking part of Denny's
Before we go to work.
(No one smokes at Denny's any more).
The King Size Kents Elaine once smoked
I see my mother in my children's kids
As they devour the latest paper back,
Or lose themselves in the delight of wondering
What an ant is thinking -
Seeing living things not quite the way
That other people do.
I don't call Mother when I'm stuck
On Sunday's crossword puzzle.
I don't write my father every Saturday
(and try to catch the mail before it comes)
I don't tell him about the kids and grandkids -
How his namesake Guy's decided that he's Buddhist
And Steffi's playing saxophone in band,
About when I'll be flying east to visit.
The last time I saw Leonard
(You know, the one who came into my office
And told me jokes he thought my father'd like)
He asked if I could sit and talk with him
Just for a moment, he had things to say -
I couldn't, though, I had someplace to go -
He died just two days after that.