Grateful, Yet Nostalgic

In the back of the house,

shoes littered the floor

and clothes mixed together

in a laundered heap.

A constant voice ringing out

would tell the culprit to clean up

and we’d look at each other,

accusations ready to slip.

We would go to separate corners

routinely shoving things into small spaces,

mumbling under our breath as we went.

Until nightfall when we fell into our stacked beds

that separated us, yet allowed peaceful sleep

with an awareness of your presence.

Day after day, it was the same game-

it was fight after fight until we were forced to make up

with nowhere else to go.

On the other side of the house,

shoes are in a line

and clothes are in a hamper.

There’s no voice telling me to clean.

No one to look to and no one to blame.

No small spaces for things to go.

At nightfall when I retire to my bed

I see my ceiling and not the bottom of your mattress

and I lay there alone

grateful, yet nostalgic.

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