I had made the usual meal,
the Saturday one of our own
organic free-range chicken
out of the freezer
and into the oven.
The exquisite taste of fresh chard,
the potatoes newly dug.
I enjoyed it almost as much
as when we ate together.
I went for the evening walk
through ankle-deep leaves,
the late-night birds tumbling
through leafless trees.
The dark, still pond.
Came back to the house
and did a most unusual thing:
When you were away for a few days,
I would leave them right there
then do them all in a flurry
before you arrived.
But now that you're not coming back
something about them had changed:
they posed, it seemed, some kind of threat,
as though leaving them might be
the thin end of a wedge,
a slow sinking a bent heart might be prone to,
the Fall to Sloth
followed by the Spiral into Slovenliness.
Next thing I would not bathe, shave.
Then the Bottle.
I did not think this. More visual -
entering the retina from the mind.
A message from one of the many futures
you left behind.