You . . . Again
“I know. It’s just habit,”
he says standing too close
to an old memory;
trying to warm himself
against a coal burner
some weeks ago removed
from ever offering
to stay the cold again.
I smile, thinking of you,
and wish I did not know
exactly what he means.
The snakeskin, most complete and long enough
to represent its previous owner
as something to avoid, cannot prevent
the conversation from dwelling upon
the causes behind such poor attendance:
birthday parties and work, a baptism,
the disbelief that after all these years
reserving the third Sunday in August
there are those who fail to remember.
Each one a reason for someone’s absence;
acceptable or not—up for debate.
It’s as much who is not here as who is.
Dean Robbins lives in Danville, Pennsylvania with his wife, Karen. He has been composing poetry for 35 years and has been published in various journals and magazines. These include but are not limited to The Lyric, The Society of Classical Poets, The Broadkill Review, and Ideals. He has also written the words to Listen, a libretto (music composed by Steven Miller) for the sisters of SAI, Mansfield University Chapter. Robbins has earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in interpersonal communication with graduate English courses. He enjoys baseball, reading, writing, and his children and grandchildren.
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