The Other Side

Stephen R. Roberts


Little ones want to play hide and go seek.


They want me to go first, that is, hide

while they try to find me.

I take up residence in the bathroom.

Lock the door. Turn out the lights.

Soon they come pounding, yelling,

Grandpa, are you in there?

No answer.

They whisper among themselves.

We know you’re in there, Grandpa.

I remain silent.

They discuss matters, possibilities

of other places, perhaps the garage

where I would fit, or the pantry

in which I wouldn’t. They comment

that there could be a dark mirror

on the other side of the door.

Finally, in a voice not unlike mine,

but not mine, I respond.

There’s no one in here.

Momentarily there’s shuffling of little feet,

mumblings of wavering words and phrases.

Within seconds they walk away

amazed at how I could possibly do that.


I want the reader of this poem to do the same.





Recently retired from the insurance claims business Stephen R. Roberts resides on eight acres of Hoosier soil, pretending it to be wilderness. He spends more time now pondering trees, envying birds, playing with grandchildren, not necessarily in that order.   He has recently had poems published or accepted in Steam Ticket, Slant, Passager, Timber Creek Review, and Ellipsis.  He continues to write as if the world doesn't depend on it.