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My Mother’s Clothes

December 28, 2011

They gave me her clothes

in a brown paper bag,

handed to me over the counter

at the police station

like groceries at the supermarket.

I brought them back to her house,

quiet now, empty,

and on the cold tile floor

of her laundry room

I took the things out:

the coat, bright red,

the darker blood stains

barely showing;

the purse filled with keys, spare change, gloves,

the photos she loved to show;

her shoes, tiny,

one with a broken heel.

I sat on the floor

not knowing what to do next.

I put them back into the bag

and left them there

on the cold tile floor.

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