Peter Witt

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.

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