It feels just the same – the marble white table,
the smell of stilled laughter under layered dust,
the rickety lamps, the tangle of cables,
the old photo frames in sepia crumbed rust.
The chairs are empty, the frog-like telephone
is no longer there, but old conversations
hang like spider webs. The owners are gone
but their presence lingers in dented cushions,
in pairs of shoes arranged in the shoe rack,
housebound for years now. Vaguely outlined
in spectacle cases, chipped bric-a-brac,
magazine crosswords and hobbies left behind.
Piles of stuff neatly stacked in the cupboards –
the papers, letters - the evidence of words.