We’d Planned

to pull the blinds,
uncork champagne,
jitterbug naked
— your mother and I —
inside the empty nest.

You slammed the hatch
on your Subaru, its bursting load
of fantasies and mysteries boxed,
pillowcases stuffed
with plush bears.
Smiled, waved, honked,
and sped away. Our last,
at last

We stood at the window
— your mother and I —
and breathed silence.
She simmered a Mexican stew
later that afternoon, which
side-by-side across from your place
at the table, we sipped
spoon by spoon.

About the Author: As founding editor of Many Voices Press, Lowell Jaeger compiled Poems Across the Big Sky, an anthology of Montana poets, and New Poets of the American West, an anthology of poets from 11 Western states. His third collection of poems, Suddenly Out of a Long Sleep (Arctos Press) was published in 2009 and was a finalist for the Paterson Award. His fourth collection, WE, (Main Street Rag Press) was published in 2010. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Montana Arts Council and winner of the Grolier Poetry Peace Prize. Most recently Jaeger was awarded the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award for his work in promoting thoughtful civic discourse.