For you to come home.
Waiting to hear the key in the door
Waiting for you to put on your pajamas,
turn the hall light off, come to bed.

Waiting for you to climb the ladder
to hang the pot we boiled corn in.
Waiting for the food we bought together
before you died to be consumed.

I went to the freezer,
found the specials you bought at Zabars,
the large Jewish hot dog you loved
with Heinz baked beans.
They were for you. I won’t eat them.
What should I do?

We always disagreed
where to put the grated cheese.
I said it lasts longer in the freezer.
You insisted it should stay in the refrigerator.
It’s in the freezer now.

I just did a wash.
Only my things.
You were so appreciative
when I handed you
clean clothes to put in your drawer.

In the morning, I would hear you make coffee,
go into the guest room, now your office,
to call your patients with the door closed.

Now I go to bed alone.
You used to hold my hand,
read to me, turn off the light,
kiss me good night.

Waiting for you to appear
but I saw you lifeless
in the CCU after the surgery.
I stroked your head, rubbed your hand
tried to make you come alive.


Ellen C. Goldberg’s first chapbook, Death and other Amusements was recently released by Eggplant Press (New York, NY). She has been published in Skidrow Penthouse, Studio One, Cotyledon and Big City Lit, among others. She travels extensively but makes her home in Manhattan.