The Shining

The cleaning lady blew into the house on a storm
of good intentions, and left it sparkling.
The counter tops smiled back
at anyone who looked at them, and all
the mirrors shone
the way a soul does when
it leaves the body. When the occupant
returned, he looked
for the bird seed that was banished to a corner
in darkness; he reached for the filters
that once kept the drains clear;
he turned white with shock
when his personal list of phone numbers was missing
and the world became a cold
and empty one. The weeks began
on Tuesday and ended before the weekends
could take hold. All memory
was banished; life began
without a trace of history to say
who we are, where we’re from, why
we speak the languages we do, where the toothpaste
disappeared, which god
is responsible for this address, why
all the tools were granted independence
while he who returned
to the ruins
would trade an inch of dust for
knowing why the hummingbirds are circling
the hooks where once
their sugar water hung.

David Chorlton

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