“After the Reception: Things in Their Place” by John T. Hitchner


The porch without chairs,
a house of empty chairs with empty arms.

A house with walls,
empty walls with frameless rectangles and squares,
where light once captured us,
our children and your watercolors--
lilies asleep on a pond,
morning glories enfolded upon a trellis.

A house of stairs without footsteps,
without shadow of light from our bedroom,
the bed without you, your arm a crescent across the pillow.

Our bedroom without laughter,
without sighs,
without breath.
After breath, silence,
and after silence, the search for words.