everything gets slow, stops

Remnants
Jim Handlin

1

Everything gets slow, stops.
I reread the telegram.

2

I remember the squirrel dead
at the end of the driveway.
The body thrown up on the grass
next to the azalea.
The red where the car hit
so different from the red
of the bush.
All that day and the next
I thought of ways
to stay close to my mother.

3

They auction the contents
of the estate. Limoges and
cloisonné, piece after piece.
The bed she slept in, her silver
tea set. I notice cobwebs
in corners, dust, places
where the wallpaper’s faded.
Her painting for some other wall,
her gold for someone else’s finger.
Outside taillights slash the night:
red and more red.

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