She was telling me how she opened the cupboard
under the sink and a bottle of bleach fell out and
smashed on the stone floor: broken glass all over.
And bleach. Now she’s afraid she’ll drop something else.
Afraid the kids might fall or— not like the wooden floor.
She thought the renovations would cheer her up,
fill the empty space that his huge frame used to hold.
She was playing cards with a little smile on her face,
but I thought she looked pale, and she dropped the cards
more than once, as if she was really not there to hold them.
And she’s let herself go: no makeup, no smile to speak of
except for that habitual not-grin. Not that she really
looks at anything. She goes through the motions, sits
at the table with us, but she’s not really there.