Jan Strever

Tomorrow we will begin again.
Silent as a motive,
we will slip into their house
through the doors they forget to lock.

After all, they will think, as they drive
to the mart, we will be gone just a
moment, what can happen
during daylight? We'll rummage

through their belongings. The damask
table cloth, silver flatware, the crystal
vase will all know our breeze. We'll
go through the medicine cabinets

scan the dosage and expiration dates,
the medicines prescribed
Sample a bit of each if we must.

At the door to the master bedroom,
we'll stop, let our presence
travel from left to right. The full
scope of the room will be ours.

His bureau holds pictures of times
forgotten, picnics, ceremonies
of status in the bottom drawer,
underneath black slacks.

Her lost emerald earring we'll find wedged
behind the vanity's middle drawer
where the secret compartment holds
nothing more startling than

the noise she made the first time
she straddled him in the backseat
of his two-tone Chevy.
A whiff of wisteria escapes before

we notice the scarf she wore
to last night's bizarre,
Isn't it too much for a grandmother,
were the exact words she used when

he gifted her with the paisley
slink of fabric. Dust motes will swell
on illusions we create to leave the room
exactly as intruded upon.

We place bets: tonight as they gather
together their night shirts, will she
pause when she notices the awkward angle
of her brush? will he straighten

the tie rack? will he not?
No matter. We will be watching.
We will be ready,
as they nuzzle belly to back.

Until they need us, first him,
(a bit later, her,) we will wait.
After all, the door was open.
After all, none of us can escape.

The 2River View, 2_2 (Winter 1998)