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I sit in your swing on a late-summer day.

           It creaks from disuse, the board warped, the ropes frayed.

This swing, I made once, with hammer and nails.

           In this swing, you swung once, with playthings in pails.

Not enough, quite simply, not enough, I’m afraid.

           So now, I sit here alone.

 

I lie in your hammock on a late-summer day.

           It smells of mildew, rotted leaves and decay.

This hammock, I hung once, with hooks from a tree.

           From this hammock, you tilted at windmills and me.

Not enough, quite simply, not enough, I’m afraid.

           So now, I lie here alone.

 

I browse near your pond on a late-summer day.

           A pond of spun green and gold strings on display.

This pond, I dug once, with muscle and spade;

           for your eyes, for your feet, to feed and to wade.

Not enough, quite simply, not enough, I’m afraid.

           So now, I browse here alone.

 

I stare at your table on a late-summer day.

           Its planks split, struts undone, dark and damp from the rain.

This table, I laid once, with lanterns at play.

           At this table, you ate once, held lions at bay.

Not enough, quite simply, not enough, I’m afraid.

           So now, I stare here alone.

 

I stand in your room on a late-summer day.

           Dumbly hanging, unblinking, their strings full of webs,

are the puppets I brought you as boodle in laces,

           then hung them aloft to keep watch from dark places.

Not enough, quite simply, not enough, I’m afraid.

           So now, I stand here alone.

Russell Bittner lives in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been published in numerous journals including The American Dissident, The Raintown Review, Thieves Jargon, Pindeldyboz, Southern Hum, Per Contra, and more. The story in Per Contra earned a 2006 Pushcart Prize nomination. Russell completed his first novel, Trompe-l'oeil, in September of 2004. 
Visit Russell Bittner at http://www.russellbittner.com/index.html.




 


In 2002, the industry in which I'd made my living and supported a young family crashed; the company went under; I lost my job -- and couldn't find another.  We subsequently lost the house, burned through savings and a 401K -- and I turned to the only thing over which I felt I had some kind of control:  writing.  Fiction, primarily -- but also to poetry in the wee, small hours. It was -- and has proved to be ever since -- not enough.  Hence, the title and substance of this piece.





 





  


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