On Visiting My Mother’s House after Her Death



Oh queen of neatness, you have made a mess

Of all these cupboards, cabinets, and drawers;

The rooms and scenes that used to prepossess

You, and which you still considered yours

Before you slipped from this world to the next.

Now mugs mix up with glasses, post-its strew

The halls and walls, and all the rooms are vexed

With obsolete ephemera and spew.

So life, unraveling, unravels all

It touches, with no malice of intent:

Casually, ancient precepts fall

Around a neatnik’s haphazard descent.

And yet, untouched, your spotless spirit flies

Past order, past disorder, to the skies.

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