Sunday 23 August 2020

Blossoms from the Azalea

by Christine Terp Madsen

It started the day you died,
this awful ransacking of your life.
Your daughters needed your will, your wedding ring.
We pull through your drawers and cupboards,
to find our lives entwined with yours.
I stare forever at the rows of thread,
the others rustle hangers and forks.
We strip the bed of your sheets,
decide who wants the chairs, your piano,
who fits your clothing.
For years I worry of breaking one
by one these kitchen dishes now mine—
my terror of losing the memory.

We are intruding.
We are tearing apart
the careful package of your home,
carrying it away in little parcels,
thinking to keep you close.
Can you forgive us crying
in these rooms for the last time?

I will return in the spring
for blossoms from the azalea.
Who can package the smell of these rooms
or the cracks in the front stoop?
Here is your wedding picture, here is
your brother at twenty, me an infant,
here you stand with your teenage daughter.
Your life is young and old and gone all today.

* * * * *

Christine Terp Madsen is a writer and editor. She has written a novel and a memoir, both unpublished, and had short stories and poetry published in eight different magazines. She lives with her spouse and their son in Moretown, Vermont.

1 comment:

  1. You put me and my sister in our late mother's bedroom over a decade ago. The poignancy burns.