IN YOUR ABSENCE: GHAZAL ON A LINE BY ASHBERY

Esther Greenleaf Murer

I swear to you I will not beat one drum in your absence.
I’ll not play a note, whoever may come in your absence.

While you're off making the most of your expense account,
you picture me curled up sucking my thumb in your absence.

You always obsess about making me watch my weight;
I'm gorging on hot buttered popcorn and rum in your absence.

If any of your bandmates should happen to drop by,
it won't be to screak, twang, tootle or strum in your absence.

When you return, you'll want to hear how I’ve missed you,
not of all the delights in which I’ve swum in your absence.

 

First line from John Ashbery, Buy Guess and by Gosh," Notes from the Air,  164

ESTHER GREENLEAF MURER, an octogenarian relic of the twentieth century, finds the ghazal a congenial form for the way her mind works.  She lives in Philadelphia, and may someday get around to updating her blog at http://esthergreenleafmurer.blogspot.com.