Photos on the Desk

A bouquet of peonies sits on the kitchen table.
Pictures dot the wall, the table sits
with the memory of that once perfect union.
The clock ticks rhythmically, somber eternal notes.
There I am, seated at the head of the table.
I wore my fathers shoes, but my own suit.
There is a bag of groceries on the counter,
my duty (an honor) to the household, satisfied.
The children play in frame. The evening mood
of the family is energetic and humorous. I remember
the smell of good cooking bringing me utmost bliss.
Evening coffee in frame brought me the same feeling.
The photo reveals more, a nostalgic turn. My wife,
standing in the kitchen, and she’s turned her head to me
with smiling eyes as if to laugh at what I had not said.
From behind my back, I did not notice this moment.
Two realities here, worlds apart yet unified.
I’ve done everything I said I would. There are no regrets.
The children are raised and fine, the future continues
as it always has. I feel as though I live in the past.
I am not alone. The mahogeny desk where I sit
holds the photos of the stories I have lived.
In the glistening twilight of experience, I reflect this light.
And when day dwindles to night, I lie down to the comfort
of memories that proved that I have lived and I have loved.

Other works by Parker Jennings ...