Misty Remains – Annette Kalandros

At the kitchen table,

My mother and I sat.

Nothing new to discuss

Silence covered us.

Sometimes we glanced at each other.

Mostly, we stared ahead

Or at the plants

We always struggled to keep alive.

My mother lit another long cigarette,

Inhaled the smoke,

Blew it out in curls,

Spectral tendrils swirling

Bout her head.

At times, I looked up

To my mother’s eyes.

At times, I looked down

To my mother’s eyes.

At times, one of us would sigh

In spring breezes as if to start

Speaking soft words.

At times, one of us would sigh

In harsh winter winds as if to start

Hurling weaponized words.

In front of me,

I had a glass of milk

Or a cup of coffee

And once a vodka tonic with extra limes.

My mother had coffee in front of her

But more than once, many times

More than once, did I hear

The cracking pop of a can opening

And then I smelled the stench

Of her beer.

After a time, I turned to ask

Did we never have

A holiday dinner ever?

Not a one can I remember.

My phone rang.

My daughter calling.

At 61, I already out lived

My mother by two years—

Cigarette smoke swirling

Around her head.

As I grab my phone to answer,

I hear a voice I barely remember say,

“One day you’ll be the ghost at the table,”

As my mother’s eyes fade

Into the misty rain of the day.


Annette Kalandros, a retired teacher, residing in Houston, TX with two French Bulldogs, writes to make sense of things—life, the world, the inner workings of her own mind and soul.  In addition, she had been active in the LGBTQ community since was four years old and marched her Ken doll with all his little Ken accouterments to the big metal trash can in the yard. Her two Barbie dolls lived happily ever after. Her work has been included in the anthology, As The World Burns.

You can read more of her write at Hearing The Mermaids Sing

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