Today I read that so-and-so passed away quietly
at her home and wondered
if downstairs a husband sat flipping channels
on the remote, retriever asleep nearby
or lapping water from a bowl in a darkened
kitchen. What does it matter whether or not
she pulled the blinds to shut out the streetlight
before slipping between sheets. I see her,
paperback in hand, the last thing she read
before meeting her maker,
whoever that is. Whatever she believed,
this woman I didn’t know,
who might have gone down for the glass of water
she liked to keep by her bedside.
Perhaps her shadow self passed the man
who said he’d be right up, who
followed a sliver of light upstairs.
Outside purplish sky shut down stars,
the blanket of pines, prayerful in her yard.
Did her heart stop while she thought
of Sunday dinner, deciding meatloaf, potatoes,
the way I did after finishing the newspaper.
I sliced onions that made me weep,
banging pots and pans as the water ran,
potatoes in the sink, demanding to be peeled.