2 June 2003 | Vol. 3, No. 2

Left Behind

Today I took your lone sweater from the shelf

where once the commingling of yours and mine

found perfect shelter in our nested winter clothes.

Nestling my nose in the folded sleeves, the garment

trailed the softest scent of you, green tea and tobacco,

a musk as earthy as your November laugh.

When each evening you carried hickory, poplar,

sugarberry, and ash in heaping armfuls

for the fickle gods of warmth by woodstove,

your eyes were the same icy-bright blue as the empty torso

I grasped. Brushing the woolen-blend across the tear-worn

smoothness of my cheek, I reminded myself that you, too,

were once heat and scratch. I could not surrender

this sentiment to Good Will. Returning the sweater

to its realm of long-ago Thanksgiving, I wondered

whether I, like the browning leaves outside my window,

hung yet on a slender, brittle branch

because I could not take the final fall of left behind.

About the author:

Melanie Faith graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1999 from Wilson College, where she majored in English, with a concentration in professional writing. She is an English, American History, and French tutor at The Mercersburg Academy. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, she taught an American History course for international students. In 2002, she ventured into the world of the poetry workshop and participated in four poetry readings. Her work has appeared in The Pedestal Magazine, Facets Magazine, Ken*Again, 3rd Muse, Promise, Thought Magazine, Pierian Springs, Rearview Quarterly, Verse Libre, Digges' Choice, Free Verse, Coelacanth Magazine, Flashquake, YAWP, August Cutter, and forthcoming from Adagio Verse Quarterly, Blue Fifth Review, Artemis Journal, Loop, and Carillon. She recently completed her first chapbook manuscript.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Melanie Faith at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 3, No. 2, where "Left Behind" ran on June 2, 2003. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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