by Marsha Temlock
When you died a stranger came
And brushed against the bittersweet
You set out on the kitchen counter.
The petals crunched beneath my feet.
The seeds skittered ‘cross the floor
like dayglo galbugs.
I found the broom and dustpan in the closet.
Swept the floor,
Refilled your vase with lilies,
Brewed the coffee (much too bitter)
Set sweets on bone white china.
Only when each dish is washed,
Your body laid to rest
Dare I stop to weep, dear friend,
with those who’ll come to mourn you.