This one was written before we left the store.  I still miss the people-

Goodbye drippy water fountain,
Goodbye Destined to be Wet floor in the hall,
Goodbye back steps where I’d longed to sit and spin,
Goodbye Fortress of Solitude and Loft of Mystery,
Goodbye leaky vents and buzzing lights,
Goodbye pressed tin ceiling,
Goodbye display window,
Goodbye Delores, Stan, Kenny, and Jesse,
Goodbye to the priests encouraging words and calm demeanor,
Goodbye to the preachers smiling face and cheerful spirit.
I will miss you customers, children, college kids.
Goodbye noises and smells of the city,
Goodbye main street,
Goodbye old town,
Goodbye.

This one is about finally breaking free from John’s control and the stale smell of an ashtray-

Twenty years a prisoner
But now I’ve been set free
And yet the awful jailer
Wants to recapture me

I have shown you kindness
I was generous and good
It would mean so much to me
If you dear only would
Climb back in your cell there
let me lock you behind this door
And keep you here beside me
For now and evermore

You’ve only been generous
With your cruelty and lies
You asked me for an answer
So here is my reply
Twenty years of suffering
Torment tears and shame
As long as breath’s inside me
I won’t go back again.

Written one of the last nights in the store-

Sleep escapes me
Much remembering
Siren wailing
Heater humming

Water dripping
Husband snoring
Eyes not closing
Sleep escapes me

Another two, written right before the store closed.

Shhh, please sleep so that
I may savor each bittersweet
Second of this, the known,
Before we are whisked away to
That undiscovered country of
Uncertainty.

Get the things out of the hallway
The loft and the back room, too
Take the clothes out of the showroom,
For now, you can leave the shoes.

Tables and chairs through the alley,
Last thing to get is the loom;
Sadness comes with the leaving
For soon, we must say adieu.

I was very angry as you can tell in these next poems.

Hair-brained scheme
Foolish dream
Why did you so this to me

Half-baked truths
Flat out lies
Why did you do this to me

Misery
Poverty
Why did you do this to me.

Descent job
Benefits
Retirement plan
Insurance
Throw away
Go away
Don’t need you
Any more

Written when we went back home

Familiarity, light,
Love, life, home;
That was long ago,
Been gone too long.
Darkness, different,
So much change-
This transition
From sunshine to rain.

Spider in the sink
Raccoon in the hall
Birds roost in the attic
While ivy climbs the wall

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