MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR POET LAUREATE
Marian Kaplun Shapiro

NO ONE’S HOME

No one’s home at the house.
The heat turns on to suit the thermostat we set
so long ago we don’t remember when. The water
sprinklers dampen all the areas of grass,
at exactly 6 a.m. And stop at 8
a.m., as programmed. The answering
machine collects its messages when the phone
rings, or sings, or plays a little Eine Kleine
Nachtmusik. To be more accurate, the many
answering machines collect their messages
from all the lines, upstairs and down, home,
and home office. Bills show up at 2 o’clockish,
courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service.
UPS has left a carton on the porch
sitting quietly awaiting us. E-mail
lines up patiently as the computer sleeps.
Faxes pile in paper puddles on the floor.
My love for you fills every cubic foot of air.
Even when neither of us is there.


Marian Kaplun Shapiro, 71, of Lexington, is a nationally known American poet. Last year she won a SPL Honor Scroll Award for Massachusetts. A Jewish Quaker, she was born in a housing project in The Bronx. She is now a psychologist and author of many plays, articles, books and poems. Marian and her physicist husband have two children and five grandkids. She won 2nd Place in the 2010 Robert Frost Poetry Contest sponsored by the Saturday Evening Post.