At first, you notice little things – a coat
left careless on the couch, a cup of tea
half-drunk when you had made yourself no tea.
And gradually, these things acquire a weight
that lifts them from the mundane – when a mate
regrets a talk you never had, your aunt
remarks on Tuesday’s visit, or your wife
describes your trip to Denver. People can’t
tell you apart. How might you claim your life
back from this shadow? As you lose the sun
in grief, the web that held you melts away
until there’s nothing left. The doppelgänger
has occupied the king file, and your day
plays out around its edges. He has won
this game. You didn’t know it had begun.
If you have any
thoughts on this poem, John
Isbell would be pleased to hear them.