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,

Closets, bedrooms, shelves and storerooms—yes,

Most everywhere 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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