I never forgot the dust

Dust in sunlight

The truth is that the man had died

many weeks prior,

but we don’t like to tell people that.

The smell was the only reason

anyone knew at all –

drawing out the complaints

of the shrieking hag upstairs.

I pushed open the door

and he was there

slumped back in his chair,

gazing at the stained ceiling.

The only thing that moved

were the dust motes


through a shaft of sunlight

that had stolen past

the threadbare curtains.

After we carried him out

all that was left

was a small christmas tree


alone in the corner

lights twinkling red and green

in the middle of July.

© 2015, Gavin Zanker.

Photo by Dima Viunnyk licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.


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