After She’s Gone

                   Carol Lynn Grellas


He will remember her orchard, teeming

with cherry tomatoes, plumped full of juice,

like scarlet ornaments lit from the sun

draping the trellis on long meandering stems,

all but one, fallen beyond the room

of her clapboard house on a Sunday afternoon.


He will remember her candles, paled

and cold near pieta plaques that lined the walls

above old-fashioned wainscot and bleached

wood floors, where she used to sing

and brew Greek coffee from a bottomless

pot that she doesn’t pour on a Sunday afternoon.


He will remember her aged hands carefully

carving the pulpy flesh of vegetables flushed

and sweet; our countless feasts that she prepared

in her tartan tied apron, this unkempt room,

these past due bills, an empty seat by

a windowsill where we used to meet

on a Sunday afternoon.


He will remember her nervous smile, an unmoving

ribcage, the molded outline in embryo form

within the mattress tattered and worn a lasting image  

that snuck in his being as subtly as incense or the scent

of Livani in the Orthodox Church while inhaling

the sounds during rounds of the Byzantine Choir

on a Sunday afternoon .


He will remember her kitchen neglected

and bare with a view of overgrown greens

everywhere and her table of knotty pine,

the ripened tomatoes, unpicked and still

on the vine, his sip of ouzo to say goodbye

toasting her name with no reply

on a Sunday afternoon.



Carol  Lynn Grellas is a three-time Pushcart nominee and the author of a  new  collection of poem: A Thousand Tiny Sorrows, soon to be released from  March Street Press along with two chapbooks: Litany of Finger  Prayers ( Pudding House Press )and Object of Desire (Finishing Line  Press).  She is widely  published in magazines and online journals including  most recently, The  Centrifugal Eye, Oak Bend Review and deComp,  with work upcoming in OVS and Saw  Palm Florida Literature and  Art. She lives with her husband, five children  and a little blind  dog named Ginger, who sleeps in the bathtub.