Carol Anderheggen

The following four poems are in honor of my husband, Hap, aged 65. He died in December 1994 of cancer.

Left Behind

Adrift and aimless
am I:
cast off--
without the lifelines
of your illness
and without the fear
of losing you.

I'll pack up
the syringes,
kits, tubes
and formulas--
all remnants
of your last supper
on earth.

Left behind,
i cannot pack up
my broken heart--
there's no chasm deep enough,
nor ocean wide enough,
nor heaven high enough
for my broken, but beating heart
you've left behind.

North Kingstown
February 1995

The Film at the Back of My Head

rolls on endlessly.
of our life together
Your smile, broad, warm.
Your hands, your beautiful hands.
Your brown eyes, steady.

I see you playing your drums.
I see you streaming with joy as you sing.
I see you holding Annie,
a grey furball
curled up in your face.
I see you hunched over the fine print
with your half-eyes.
I see you looking skyward
at a starry night.

I see you everywhere,
in every frame
on the film
at the back of my mind.

North Kingstown
February 1995

There are times

of softest remembrance
as rain, heavy at times,
held us together,
the world in our arms

of harshest regrets--did we say goodbye
without saying goodbye?
Did we say see you another day,
only elsewhere?

Where once it howled beyond the walls
of our home, this loss
resides, a hydra-headed being,
inside my soul now

Your life's stuff
now packed into boxes,
mementoes left everywhere
lest I forget.

There are times
when your absence is possible
but mostly,
there are times
i wait
for the garage door to open
i wait to see you walk up to our home
long lean lanky
aflow with artistic energy

There are times
I wish I were no more
as I move through the daze
like a soldier in drill

There are times I refuse,
I whisper "not yet"...
but it is only a matter of time
for your boundless love
to find its home within me

only a matter of time
for me/ for you
when there are no more times
of waiting waiting waiting

North Kingstown
July 1995


As tenderly
as I carried my babies
I carried your tools
out to the garage.
These daily reminders
of your absence
remained where last collected--
abandoned, just as life
abandoned you.

Your strong, broad, but gentle hands
will touch them no more.
Your strong, broad but gentle hands
will touch me no more.

The dark settles in, a winter dark
abrupt, gray, cold
You are not here, your hands
gray, cold, gone.

Your strong, broad, but gentle hands
were your true tools--
and they, they can touch me
no more.

May 1998
North Kingstown, RI

Carol Anderheggen

You can send email to Carol at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 12-94
date of post 12-03-96
email updated 11-13-08
post updated 02-14-00

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