Albert Huffstickler

The Void

There’s always a void.
There’s a void between your bedroom
and the kitchen.
There’s a void between the kitchen
and the front door,
an indescribable void between
home and work.
The void is between
one known place and the next.
The void is what
we came through to get here
and what we’ll face when we leave,
Every time someone leaves
they leave a void.
You can say we journey
from one familiar place to the next
or, conversely, you can say
we journey from one void to the next.
When love comes,
everything before it is a void.
When love leaves
all that remains is a void.
On good days
there’s light all around us.
On bad days
we’re in the void.
Someday we’ll die
and that, we think, is
the biggest void.
But perhaps, just perhaps,
the place we’re at now
is the void of somewhere else
and in that place,
there’s no void at all.

One Life

One life I’ve lived this time
is in the back booth of a diner
or cafe, out of the way, drinking
coffee, smoking, watching the
people, writing things down.
In this life, I could be mute,
I don’t talk to anyone, I
just watch and listen and write.
That’s it. This is one person
that I’ve been this life, across
the country, Canada, parts of
Mexico, observing, recording.
It’s a life.  It’s a way of
life.  It’s a place where I
feel comfortable: nothing I
have to say, no one I have to
relate to.  I have had other
lives this time but none more
basic.  It’s lonely sometimes
but even the loneliness isn’t
really uncomfortable: it fits.
I could wish that some of my
other lives fitted as well
but that’s carping.  We play
the hand that’s dealt us and
hope we leave behind something
of worth but we don’t know.
Somewhere in all those lines
written in all those places
there may be a line that lasts.
If not, there was still the
doing of it, the peace of a
room where people come to eat
or drink coffee or talk and
also, though they’re not aware
of it, to be watched and
written down.
from Simple Vows,
#2, 1999