Literary Orphans

HOME ALONE by William DeGenaro


The first time I stayed home alone was

a misunderstanding. “I have to go to the

store. Is that okay?” I was playing solitaire

on a Saturday laying on the floor, thought

I meant we, ran upstairs for something. A

ball cap? Jacket maybe? Or some disposable trinket

or other that for a week or so

was my talisman until a new little artifact

came along? I skipped downstairs into a silent

rip in the space-time continuum. The tv

was off, no Vincent Price black-and-white

or Castle fright night throwback, my usual Saturday

fare, soundtracked my descent. Alone then, a confused

dog slinking from quiet room to quiet room.

A few tears came, acrid and caustic, the

kind of tears we cry just for ourselves.

Set back from the road behind a tavern

where you could still play the numbers, the

house disappeared under the weeping willows. Clouds, too,

blocked any natural light. And I was nowhere.

Let me always remember my moments of fear,

the eternal seconds and minutes when my heart

turned to gray and quaked, that I might

serve the anxious, the lonely, the little. Let

me remember forever and ever and ever, amen.



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William DeGenaro is a teacher and writer based in Detroit, Michigan, a Fulbright Scholar, and a lover of cooking and travel. His poems have appeared in journals including “Teaching English in the Two-Year College”, “Limestone”, and “The Oatmeal”. Follow on twitter: @bill_degenaro

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