by Helen Peluso

What will happen when they open me?

Will there be great gaps where once

sweet life existed?

Maybe someone will say,

“Ahh, that’s where love once lived until it was

struck from her.

And yes, that’s where she used to laugh

until she was left only to cry.”

I wonder if a fearsome gash exists

in the very spot where gently

I cradled your heart.

But then, perhaps, just perhaps they will notice.

“See! Yes. Look.

This is where she smiled so late.

And, here! Someone placed a small kindness.

A warm hand touched this place.

and kisses left soft stains.

What is left to see?

No, close her now.

It is not ours to share.”

Helen Peluso retired from New Jersey state government where she spent many years commuting from Barnegat to Princeton Forrestal Center and Trenton. She now volunteers for hospice, NJ Resource Education Foundation, and Cox Historical House in Barnegat. She and her husband enjoy opera, organic gardening, art shows, museums and galleries, and collecting outsider art.

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