Alone in the High-Ceilinged Room

My fan clicks each time it completes
an orbit. I’ve opened all the windows

so the mid-August heat can sit with me.
There’s just enough breeze for the pines

across the street to whisper among themselves.
Two teen boys, shouldering over-stuffed

backpacks, speed by in loud conversation,
peddling standing up. My kids are three thousand

miles away, three hours behind me. Right now,
he’s getting behind the wheel; she’s catching a ferry,

both headed into their workday. Once, being alone
for an afternoon was as elusive as the quetzal bird.

What naps? He was colicky. Then, she came along
and needed my breast. And when she needed my breast

he needed my lap. Unseen starlings chitter away.
Whatever they’re saying is not meant for me.

Nor is the joy of those boys my joy. By now,
they’ve thrown their bikes and backpacks down,

stripped off their t-shirts, jumped into a friend’s pool.
I’m on a different planet, orbiting a new sun.

My windows are open and there’s the sweetest breeze singing—
what’s next what’s next what’s next.

Cindy Veach’s most recent book is Her Kind (CavanKerry Press). She is also the author of Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press), named a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and a ‘Must Read’ by The Massachusetts Center for the Book, and the chapbook, Innocents (Nixes Mate). Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, AGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore and Salamander among others. She is the recipient of the Philip Booth Poetry Prize and the Samuel Allen Washington Prize. Cindy is co-poetry editor of Mom Egg Review. Her Kind is now available from Cavan Kerry Press or your local bookseller.

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