Peter Witt is a retired university professor who took up writing poetry in his senior years. His work has appeared on several online platforms and in a published volume (Poems in the Breeze, Lulu.com). Peter also researches and writes family history (Edith’s War: Writings of a Red Cross Worker and Lifelong Champion of Social Justice, Texas A&M University Press).
Leaving me Softly
It's hard to watch you slip away called by voices I can not hear to an inner world only you can occupy. Through 47 years we've greeted each other when the sun casts golden hues over the valley mountains, we've sat on the porch drinking morning tea listening to twitter of early birds, watched rabbit kits warily eating tendrils of new spring grass, hoped the red tail hawk nesting nearby wouldn't scoop them up. We raised children together, schooled them, watched them marry, shared the joy of cookie baking, kite flying with wide-eyed grandchildren. On some days, when moody clouds descended, we argued over big and little things, none of which left a permanent stain, some of which required us to make up with kisses, soft music, and a warm bed. I watch you sitting in the window warmth of an early spring day, staring at the bluebonnets bursting with perfume, eyes soon nodding off for one of your many naps. A tear rolls down my cheek remembering our lusty morning conversations, as I repeat our ritual of reading you the headlines from the overnight sports section.
My Solitudinous Life
I. Surrounded by people I live in silent thoughts that rattle 'round my brain like a roller coaster on steroids. II. Sometimes I find my mouth moving, words echoing against the walls, I hear the sound, am puzzled that I'm present in the conversation. III. Woman bumped into me while I was squeezing fruit at the grocery store, surprised, since I felt alone with thoughts of apples, crust, and rich vanilla ice cream. IV. As a child seldom visited by imaginary friends, too busy planning my escape to the moon, building forts under card tables, finding right pieces to complete a puzzle. V. Married life was hard on my wife, she expected a life partner. I woke up one day with stranger in my bed, couldn't understand why she was always sad. VI. Graveyard is quiet, coffin keeps me warm, finally able to exist undisturbed, mostly forgotten, except for the nuisance of Sunday voices saying hello, bringing flowers.
When the Scent of Love Fades to Stale
I loved you once, hard and deep, but that was then, now we sit across from each other eating stale bread, hearts crumbled, no honey will sweeten or repair. Everything tastes salty, the only memory I retain of your skin after crumpled sheets were pushed aside on a panting night of wagging tongues, clutched arms, cramped toes. You were my sole mate, but you had others, bawdy women who smelled of lavender soap and chamomile tea, shallow men, with powerful arms, stilted good looks, who talked with their tongues hanging out, left you with a secret smile hanging on your lips, an aftertaste that swallowed your breath. I need to leave, but I won’t, too much baggage, too many shattered images that can never be glued back together, so I drink my stale coffee, watch you break the yolk of a would be chicken, wipe it up with burned toast, look at me, as if to say, I loved you once, but never again.