In the living world, the husband in his thin
robe, his floppy slippers, takes
the trash out to the street at dawn,
and collapses on the driveway.
The wife, drowsing in bed, warm,
expects him at her side, any minute.
The rising sun sends smoky rays
through the trees on the forest trail
they walked two days before,
while he lies still, impervious
to the concrete’s cold.
The grandkids sleep deeply
in their bedroom across town,
after yesterday’s blissed-out afternoon
digging at the beach
with their grandfolks-gifted shovels
and rakes, molds and pails.
The leaves of tall stalks of corn
in someone’s kitchen garden rustle
in a mild breeze. In the wife’s daybreak
dream, she stands on the shore
of a lake the couple never planned
to visit, whose water is always black, even
at midday. She will not
go in. He already has.
Judy Kronenfeld’s fifth book of poetry, Groaning and Singing, was released in February, 2022, by Future Cycle Press, and is available on Amazon, or by request for a signed copy from the author through her website: http://judykronenfeld.com. Her previous full-length collections of poetry include Bird Flying through the Banquet (Future Cycle, 2017), and Shimmer (Word Tech, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Cider Press Review, Juniper, Loch Raven Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, New Ohio Review, North of Oxford, Offcourse, Pratik, Slant, Verdad, Your Daily Poem, and many other journals.