Remember the young woman
moving into her house with all the excitement
and passion of a new bride
each room like a foreign country
vast and unfamiliar
waiting for life to fill it up
giddy and lost those first few months
like a little girl at choir practice
learning the words
and not knowing what to do with her hands

Quieted by the echo of empty rooms
until each piece of furniture or picture added
with laughter and even the heaviest of sobs
(for there would be pain)
absorbed and softened into the many textures
of her life

Later as children came
and carpeted floors grew worn
with footprints that stomped and ran and paced
carrying teddy bears and birthday candles
and car keys and college acceptance letters

How strange it is now
to drive by and not have a key to the front door
yet still know the placement of each window
and how the sun will fill the living room at 2 PM
in October
and when the wisteria will bloom
and where all the hooks are placed for the hanging plants

like an estranged friend
we no longer hold each other
and the only key we share opens a door to the past
to a life that is no more
to a life that is nothing more
than gone.



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