You walk into the kitchen shaking the February cold
from your coat flecks of snow melt in your hair.
I stir a pot of sauce, its stream carries past Sunday
dinners at my parents’, kids playing Go Fish
in the family room. You lean against the island
and cross your arms. I am slicing cloves of garlic
when you say that empty cars, dark and idle,
in the driveway, make you sad sometimes.
I stop chopping and for the first time since the boys left,
I see you, really know you. I no longer question
what keeps a marriage together through years of northern
winters, no sun, only grey clouds, slick ice –
what moves people past the fringe into longing again.
“Empty Cars” appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of San Pedro River Review and is included in the collection, Take Something When You Go, COPYRIGHT © 2016 by Dawn Leas. Excerpt appears courtesy of Winter Goose Publishing.
Dawn Leas's work has appeared in Literary Mama, Southern Women's Review, San Pedro River Review, The Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. Her first full-length collection, Take Something When You Go was released by Winter Goose Publishing in April 2016. Her chapbook, I Know When to Keep Quiet, was published by Finishing Line Press (2010) and is available in print and Kindle versions. A collection of her poems can be found in Everyday Escape Poems, an anthology released by SwanDive Publishing (2014). Her work won an honorable mention in the 2005 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the assistant to the president at Wilkes University and a contributing editor at Poets' Quarterly and TheThePoetry.