keeping

They leave
the nest

and then
what is there
to do?

They talked of
an office or
an exercise room
or an entertainment room

but instead

they put in some
industrial style shelves,
put new, stiff sheets on the bed,
added some coats and old
dresses to the closet

and left her bookshelf
exactly as she left it;

yearbooks, notebooks,
a French-English Webster’s Dictionary,
bottles that she’d kept for
one reason or another,
plaques and pictures that
weren’t meaningless
but never meant
enough for her to take them
with her.

They still think
that one day

she might need that room,
that bed, those shelves,

they don’t know
how not to keep it
not to worry
not to prepare
for the possibility

not to hope
for her to be close
again

though
in some ways
in many ways

she
never
was.

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