A matter of life and death

She said that ever since
he had been gone
she felt like
a half pair of scissors
since they took him away
and put him in the ground

For two months she was
scared he could not breathe
knowing not to say this
to anyone, because
it sounded crazy even to her

Six months out she learned
how to mow the lawn, and hired
a man to dig up the garden
where neither of them
planted anything

In the winter he cleared the snow
and salted the stoop and the walk
up to the door of her car, then
they would have coffee together

By the second spring
she watched him
spreading grass seed
and noticed the way his hair lay
against the nape of his neck

That autumn
they planted tulips together

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