The room was kept dark,
funereal silence only broken
by the hum of the fish tank filter.
A few bookshelves, lined with
Encyclopedia Britannica
and the latest children’s
books, the kind one might find
in a hospital waiting room,
all pulled invitingly close
to each shelf lip.
In one corner
a piano, never played,
now that she’s gone,
and the water in the fish tank
constantly drips
like the tears that wrinkle

the unread pages of your book.

Submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight. A lot of good poetry happens over there tonight–type a few lines and send them in! 

40 thoughts on “Parlor

  1. Nico, so many strong images in this poem. I wonder just who the person was who died. Why there was a piano that was never played. Why the latest children's books. So many unanswered questions……but then again, that's life.


  2. as ever nico I am calmed and inspired by your stripped back approach. I always intend to write this way but to my detriment I get carried away with the bug or w/e it is that makes a 'style' do what it does when we step up and type. at least the difference is stunning as I read due to my complication which somehow makes it worth it.

    I watched the movie 'Amor' a couple of nights back and this holds the hand of what remains of the movie in my head as I process the heavy feelings of absence.

    thanks nico.


  3. Your spare and unadorned style is perfectly suited to this poem, with its imagist overtones, the subtle clues – “funereal” “hospital waiting room” – clinging to the objects like wary adjectives… until that final verse, where finally the emotions seep unashamedly through.


  4. The hardest thing, after someone passes, is dealing with the places they once joyfully inhabited. This tugged at my heartstrings and made me sad.


  5. Grief, palatable, poignantly transmitted in your piece. It is its simplicity deepens the tone.

    Something so well-written must be heartfelt. I'm sorry if it is so.


  6. Thank you Jeff–heartfelt, yes, but at the moment it was only a vicarious grief. For such a short and quickly penned poem, a lot of different influences went into the making of this. Rooms I remember, details from different places, and the feelings I've shared with many people. That being said, my own tears have indeed wrinkled pages from time to time.


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