Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa


After you’re gone
I take my time washing,
preparing for bed.
Clouds gather in the darkening sky
and thunder sounds in the distance.


the day after
putting down the dog
I put in my mouth
tastes bitter


in my dreams I run
down hallways, searching
what was it you said
about love’s greatest sacrifice
before you turned away?


heat lightning
in the heavy stillness
fireflies urgently flashing
alone on the dark porch
I finally let you go


Lighting the candle,
the room’s darkness deepens.
Again I hold my breath
and wait upon the Sacred
to appear.


watering the new plants
murmuring encouragement
I see how the garden takes them in
your harsh words
beginning to fade


your 20-year mustache gone,
you come to me grinning
then kiss me tentatively
like a new lover


Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa is a writer/artist living in Rochester, New York. Her work has appeared since the 1980’s in many haiku, tanka and poetry journals; in anthologies published in Japan, England and the United States; as well as in /Writer’s Digest,The Good Life and reative Spirituality.