Who is it I see looking at me
From that empty canvas?
Is it that teen, staring vacant
Her face marked and scarred
From the acid of depraved lust?
Or is the child raped and cast aside
Her little pleas for help, a prayer
On every mother’s lips?
Can it be the woman sitting alone
Refilling her glass in the dark
Not all abuse, no not all abuse
Leaves a mark?
Or that homeless man
Shivering under the threadbare blanket
Warmed by dreams of a home
from a lifetime ago?
Can it be me, even
When my dreams were young
And worlds within my hands?
Like the ball we would laughingly throw
As we chased yet another surf
on an ocean without end?
Mother’s sisters daughters friends
Crowd in whispered hushes
The heady rush of voices
That I will never hear again
I look up at the crowded canvas
Face faces that quickly fade
Your eyes go last, a hint of a smile
That is gone in a wisp of smoky haze
And a laugh that echoes in my ear
Just an empty canvas with nothing there.