Published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Year III, No. 9, Vol. 1, September 2017


In the next room, my mother is dying. Lights out, dark as night though it’s the middle of the day. The heavy, velvet curtains are pulled tight with tape and wooden clothespins, so they keep the blue skies, blue birds, and the rest of the moving, breathing world out of sight. It’s severely quiet ever since last month, when the visitors stopped coming. No more neighbors waiting at the front door with casseroles, no church folk coming to pray on Sundays, no family to help me. The mailman leaves the daily mail on the porch swing now without so much as a knock. A lifetime ago this room was not the room where my mother slept, ate, retched, and wept—not the mausoleum where she would die—but a living room. I miss when this room used to be full of people and things and didn’t echo from its emptiness.

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