Shame

Of a sick person in the house,
then taken away.
In a room, not dressed.
Decay.

If you don’t say it, it won’t be true.
They ask, and I don’t answer:
Where she went,
that she went.

Molly in the playground asking,
“What’s wrong with your mother?”
Answering the phone with “She’s not here.”

Opening the door to an empty kitchen.
Entering my classroom
to silence and stares.

That it didn’t matter if we were good,
didn’t disturb her,
didn’t cry or pound the door.

That we could not make her better.
We could not save her.
That she left me.
That people come to the house
and she is gone.

From Psalms for a Child Who Has Lost Her Mother, Finishing Line Press, 2015. Order at finishinglinepress.com. Copyright © 2015 Carol Japha.  All rights reserved.

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