She left her yellow bathrobe
streaked across the bed,
her hair
clumped in the shower,
an auburn clot
which he does not pull free,
savoring instead
the water pooling at his feet.

Her slippers still beneath her favorite chair,
her glasses on the table,
her baseball cap atop the ‘fridge.

He drifts
from family room to kitchen,
from sink to stove to couch,
not knowing
where to settle, how
to start.

There are casseroles in the freezer,
condolences in cards and eyes,
his brother stopping by with groceries,
yet still
he does not know.

His children
help him find his
moorings, even as their loss
broadens his.
In the mornings and at bedtime and in the pauses
of their play,
they seek out the blunt certainty
of solid ground:

“Who will buy us clothes?”
“Who will teach us how to read?”
“What will happen on her birthday?”
“How long will she be dead?”

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