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poetry

WHAT YOUR LIFE DID
WHILE YOU WERE AWAY
by
Leslie Vryenhoek

Donít bother wondering

where it wentóit didnít go far. Most days

your life just waited, kept up with othersí misfortunes

by watching Oprah out of the corner of its clear

wide eye while it tarnished the silver and hoped

youíd come home and take it out dancing.


It listened for the sound of tires

turning into the drive and when they didnít,

your life turned the crackers

stale and laid down dust on your

souvenirs, daring you to notice. Then

it breathed a steady layer of boredomó

or was it regret?ó

onto every single windowpane

just to tone down the veracity

of the fading light.


That day it grew resentful, it went out

and rusted the light fixtures

on the east side of the house, then rotted

the second step on the deck, idly pushing its heel

into the soft, dreamless decay until its attention

caught on the wind, left your life wondering

where it could go.


Leslie Vryenhoek is a writer, editor and communications consultant whose poetry, fiction and memoir have appeared in magazines and journals across Canada. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, she moved to Canada in 1984, and now lives in St. Johnís, Newfoundland, where she is completing a first collection of poetry. Her debut book of short stories, Scrabble Lessons, will be published in 2009. "What Your Life Did While You Were Away" is a 2008 Anderbo Poetry Prize Poem of Distinction.

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