What I See From The Balcony At Moore’s Way

For Diane who finally rests in peace, May 18, 2000—written in Moore’s Way
Recovery Center at 23 Duncan Street, Gloucester**

I’m looking at her room now. She was disappeared
by something, none of us knows what it was. Some
think it was her disease. Others
think different. I’m looking at her room. The shades
are drawn, her door is locked. No one can see
in. I’m looking at the ocean from the balcony

next to her room. The sound of seagulls. A man walks
on the pier. Fishing boats at anchor. An island with
grass, a few small trees. This is the view from her room.

I’m looking at her room now. Thinking of her. I hardly
knew her. Saw her once at an NA meeting. I remember
even though it was months ago. I was quite taken
by her. I was about to ask for her phone number yet I decided
to wait for another time. When I get a sudden impulse

to do something, I’ve conditioned myself to wait. I acted
on impulse for over three decades, never hesitated to take
that first shot of heroin. I’m looking at her room.
It is still empty. She has been disappeared for a week.

Her car was left behind. Did I say she walked
with a limp and used a crutch? The crutch was
left in her car. She had a favorite pair of shoes. One shoe
was still here, the other is missing, like her. What God

turned it’s back for a second, busy somewhere else, when
she was taken? I am looking at her room now, wondering
what it was. What was it that came up behind her, beside
her, maybe inside her and took her out? There are many

of us here. Waiting and praying. When I think
of her I think of baseball, laughter, long brown
hair, the twinkling of a smile. I never really
knew her, just watched her walk, said hello, smiled

when she smiled at me. I’m looking at her
room now, a prayer resting on my tongue.
For me she was a light walking,
walking around Moore’s Way, something I could

believe. Everyone here is like that. I’m looking
at her room now, looking for the light, waiting
for her to reappear, say it was just an accident, a
lapse of faith, but everything is all right now, I’m

not disappeared now.

I’m still looking at her room. She hasn’t come home yet.

**When the staff at Moore’s Way opened her room, they found her body— her spirit had flown.**