If you see an old woman
trudging alone
through the mall, don’t hide
in Dillards
behind the shelves of razors,
moccasins, aftershave.
She’s been searching for you
grave-filled days
ghosted with blue-jeans,
soft cotton sweats–faded
charcoal and blue hanging
on racks,
aroma of strong coffee like her
dead son loved
from the food court
through crowds of shoppers,
the coffee’s bitter taste,
her son’s eyes,
his smile in other faces.
Grief takes her home
where she pours liquid
Tide into the washing machine,
brews strong coffee,
waters her son’s philodendron,
wraps herself in thermal
against the cold
slipping through the cracks.

(c)Mary Harrison, 1993