Final Walkthrough

by | May 5, 2015 | Poetry

On the last day it was ours, we did
a final walkthrough of each room
before getting the kids from school.
Most were empty by then, a few boxes
against the wall in the dining room.
There were ashes in the fireplace
I’d meant to clean out but hadn’t.
The doorframe of the downstairs hall
closet still had the lines you’d drawn
in marker showing the kid’s height over
the past six years, his in black, hers red.
Their rooms were swept clean, echoing
with their voices. I turned back to the den,
then heard you climbing the wood stairs
to the upstairs bedrooms. I followed you,
but avoided walking into our room. I pulled
the door closed and crossed the hall, found you
standing in the middle of the fourth bedroom,
the one we never used except for storage,
until you began sleeping on the couch
in there. Lines from the vacuum cleaner
formed patterns in the carpet, geoglyphs
on some desert floor. You turned to me
but said nothing, touching my cheek.
Then you reached down and undid
my jeans, then turned away and checked
your watch while doing the same.


Photo: Geoglyphe: Geant d’Atacama by twiga269

About The Author

Paul Scot August

Poet Paul Scot August is originally from Chicago but has spent the second half of his life now in Wisconsin. He has an MA in Creative Writing from UW-Milwaukee. He is a former poetry editor of The Cream City Review and has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. He co-curates the Middle Coast Poets Reading Series in Milwaukee. His poetry has appeared in Mead: the Magazine of Literature & Libations, Lindenwood Review, Louisville Review, South Dakota Review, Tygerburning, Connotation-Press, Midwestern Gothic, Los Angeles Review, Dunes Review, Naugatuck River Review, Passages North and elsewhere. He currently lives in the Milwaukee area with his two children.