The room lies vacant, now,
vacant and left to time.
No-one ever comes
into the room anymore.
It remains as it is,
as it was,
as it has been
for seven years.
She no longer
returns in the morning
to prepare it for the day.
The room remains locked
to memory.
The same paint and paper
cover the walls and ceiling,
as they have for seven years.
They no longer sparkle with life.
They have become dull and dreary
with death,
without the love
it once knew.
For seven years,
the lock on the door
has not known the feel
of a key.
The hinges have rusted
in disuse.
Seven years of dust
have blanketed
a lifetime of memories.
No longer do the books
shout out their tales.
No longer do the trophies
and the awards
and the pennants
sing out their achievements.
They are all but forgetten now,
as are the photographs
sitting neglected on the desk.
His photograph,
alone,
on the bedside table,
large as life,
and proud,
yet,
crying for the loving touch
of lips on the cheek.
Her lips.
No lips have pressed
against the glass
in love and memory
for seven years.
No arms
have cradled the picture
and rocked a gentle,
soothing, reassuring rock,
a voice whispering softly,
'I love you.'
She is gone now.
Seven years
on October fourth.
She rests now,
with her son,
side by side once more,
though they have never
truly been apart.
On her other side,
an empty space,
waiting.
Her husband is alive still,
and alone in the house.
He passes by the room
every night
on his way to bed,
but the room exists
no farther than the door.
He lives alone, now,
and as he passes the room,
he does not hear
the gentle moans
and whispers
of life and love gone by.
They are there,
at night,
in the silence,
the loneliness,
of the room.

(Not to be reprinted or published without express permission of the author, Neil Simpson)

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