Afternoon Without Children ~ Elisabeth Murawski


She keeps his letters
signed with x’s
in a box. They’re from a time

before they married,
had children, when a drink meant
water from the tap

or coffee white with milk.
This one’s her favorite,
laced with sweet talk

that swayed her, signed
oceans of love, a kiss
on every wave. She imagines him

as Edward abdicating, Raleigh
saving the queen’s kid
slippers. Footsteps.

She looks up. The precious letter
flutters to the floor.
He fills the doorway,

the light about his shoulders
like a cape. He’s coming
towards her now

without music. The rain
pours like fountains
from the gutters.