Wednesday, November 26, 2014


When she got home from the funeral, she cleaned.
She folded laundry, washed dishes,
Put books back on shelves.  She made the bed.
She filed important documents, put
Family photos in protective plastic covers.
She pulled dried and wilted vegetables from
The refrigerator, stuffed them into the
Compost bin. She got on her knees,
Scrubbed sticky spots from the floor.
She wiped grime off the sink, scrubbed
The toilet with a toothbrush.
She washed three layers of paint
Off the walls. She exposed rebar.
She scrub-brushed the bathtub until
The enamel melted away, and there was just

When she got home from the funeral, she messed.
She stripped the blankets from the bed, twisted
Them, threw them on the floor. She pulled
All the clothing from the closet, spread it
Over the bare mattress. She poured
Honey on the countertops, sprinkled them
With dry oatmeal. She put books in the oven.
She pulled dried and wilted vegetables
From the refrigerator, dropped them in
Crumbs onto the floor. She spread the
Tangled hairs from her comb over the sink
And toilet seat. She smeared pink
Stomach medicine on the walls.
She piled junk mail and telephone books
And shoes into a seven-foot barricade
Blocking the door.

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