Sadness Illuminated

To accompany a book of photos (but the photos never come).
  1. A cake platter after the cake is gone. And no one even told you there was cake.
  2. Firing a Nerf missile across cubicle-land . . . and no one fires back.
  3. A newly planted oak tree—with shiny steel supports, and a green beaver-proof boot—snapped in two.
  4. Leather-bound books smartening up the decor in a crowded furniture store.
  5. Forgotten Valentine’s roses in an empty house, in May.
  6. Almost anything by Phoebe Bridgers.
  7. Spoon River Anthology.
  8. “G’night, Chris! Don’t stay too late. Lock up when you leave.”
  9. Two-year-old Hannah, strapped in her stroller, coughing and whimpering in the waiting room: “Oh! Medicine!”
  10. The sound of a master oboist. And the silence when it’s over.
  11. Atheism. For a believer.
  12. Your mother, crying in another room.
  13. Alphabetization. Especially on a Saturday night.
  14. Sugar-free Peeps.
  15. The death of Chingachgook’s only son, Uncas, in The Last of the Mohicans.
  16. Moldy bread. Unless it’s Wonder Classic White.
  17. The last piece of Halloween candy at the bottom of your pillowcase. And it’s a Mary Jane.
  18. Dining alone by the seaside, next to newlyweds.
  19. An owl in the night, and no one to tell about it.
  20. Your sadness here.

Egg, meet Toad. Toad, Egg. Photo by me.