Skip to main content

Absence, a poem by Roger Pfingston

by Roger Pfingston

My wife and I miss Carole,
our next-door neighbor,

and Elmer, also our neighbor
who lived across the road.
Elmer for his daily banter,
a mechanical wizard with mowers

and such, a sharp-eyed nonagenarian
who roamed his yard, hose in hand,

flushing the tunneled darkness
of moles uprooting his grass.

Carole for her resolve against
cancer while tending myriad

flowers, her front yard
the plotted absence of grass.

So recent their going,
sometimes we pick up the phone

or glance out the window
before we catch ourselves.

A retired teacher of English and photography, Roger Pfingston is the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards. He is the author of Something Iridescent, a collection of poetry and fiction, as well as four chapbooks: Earthbound, Singing to the Garden, A Day Marked for Telling, and What’s Given, the latter recently published by Kattywompus Press.