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
drifting
from the food court
through crowds of shoppers,
the coffee’s bitter taste,
her son’s brown eyes,
his smile on other faces.
Grief takes her home
where she pours liquid
Tide into the washing machine,
brews strong coffee,
waters her son’s philodendron,
and puts on her thermal night clothes
against the cold wind
knocking at the door.

(c)Mary Harrison, 1993

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