Absence

The stairs creak as a pair of old green slippers
walks down each slat of nailed wood.

A plaid robe stumbles into the kitchen
and sits down at a four-person table.

The coffee pot talks to itself, smoke
curling out like a sigh.

A circle of chairs stare at the newspaper
open on the table. Outside on the front stoop,

a pair of black rainboots look out from lidded eyes.
A cane leans over, watching the pouring

rain. The old coats, hard of hearing, chatter in the
closet. The door knob is worn down with your touch.

Your footsteps leave their mark
all over this house.

This is a reprint of work originally published by The Poetry Society for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2016.

Hanna Iruka Hall loves many things, including reading, writing, conducting literary analyses on Medusa, and doing experiments with slime molds.

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