Alone: Stunned by the hard edge of reality

a hollow thud eviscerates the marrow in my bones.

Grasping at thin air for clues that float away like birthday balloons.

Clinging to a threadbare vine blindly hanging

over a bottomless pit while the devil dances below.


I wish for the faith of Italian widows in black,

who sit like agitated crows, counting rosary beads,

whispered in Latin. My edematous legs heavy,

a wounded elephant heading for a burial ground.

Wrestling with insomnia, endless solitary nights,

I yield to an ashen fugue state:

vertiginous footsteps grow louder,

tinnitus vibrations, a swarm of honey-bees

in an empty house.


The rapture of dancing the Anniversary Waltz

at our silver wedding celebration.

Memories of being held, while lightening flashed,

listening to wind chimes on our lemonade porch .

Hearing the sforzando

overture to Turandot or La Traviata ,

surrendering to the music, always with you.

The gathering of our clan at Fort Ticonderoga,

Uncle Mavis played the bagpipes,

women danced with flowers in their hair,

men ate haggis and lined up for the hammer toss.


I yearn to remember how it feels to wake up

and feel like a morning star.



Milton P. Ehrlich