Absence - Jason Melvin

It’s the last breath of dusk outside
but in here we enter darkness.
Any light is scarce, direct.
The shadows are overdrawn.
Each child, lounged on the sectional,
angel faces, haloed in artificial light
emanating from devices in their tiny hands.
This house has never learned silence
but at the moment, absent of voices,
just tiny noises from the lights in their hands
and your wife with a spoon
beating cookie batter in the kitchen.

Your daughter says My Dad
and I find myself looking in the shadows,
craning my neck to search around corners
as if she’s not speaking in the past tense.
But it’s nice to hear her speak of you
in a voice unsaturated with sadness.
Your missing presence from these rooms
has me feeling like a stranger.
I don’t know your wife without you.
You look out at me from a frame
but the walls feel foreign now,
in your absence.

Jason Melvin is a happily married father of three children, who lives just outside of Pittsburgh, PA.  He started writing poetry as a teenager as a way to deal with his father’s death, who died when Jason was eleven years old.  Having started a family at a young age, Jason’s focus shifted from creative pursuits to coaching his kid’s soccer teams.  At the time when he decided to put down the pen, he promised himself once his children were grown, he would pick it back up.  After years of great memories alongside his children, they are growing up and moving out, so he has started writing again. His writing often focuses on grief, family and memories.  He was first published in 2020.  He has poetry published in The Raw Art Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The Electric Rail and others.  He just became a grandpa on Jan 8th 2021.