Andrea Hollander Budy



Dishes gleam in the glass-front cabinets.
A bouquet of not-quite-open freesias
claims the center of the dining room table. 

The floors are clean as Christmas, rugs
new.  In the kitchen the clock 
chatters as if nothing could change. 

For hours tomorrow his oversized
bag will inhabit the hallway,
and the stairs will groan, a sound 

once ordinary as the refrigeratorís hum.
For a few days the whole house will grow
comfortable.  When the telephone rings, 

no one will race for it.



(photo by celise Varnedore)