Guest Room

I make up the bed with crimson sheets,
the quilt my great grandmother made.
I leave open the white paper shade
so the sun can warm the wood in slats.
I send a letter saying, “The whole top floor
is entirely yours.” And then I wait for word.
A week. Two. Dust settles on the headboard.
By turns the shadows shift, the light goes meager.
Outside, the last leaves dangle by a thread.
I imagine you nestled beneath the coverlet
or reading in the easy chair, a sleeping cat
across your lap. The yellow lamp stays lit.
All winter I wonder about you, the downy quiet
of the snow outside muffling your slow advent.

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