Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It Died in the Autumn of That Year 2014

It Died in the Autumn of That Year 2014

my kitchen in the casita            is small                         only the smallest refrigerator   

will fit the tiny cubby               squeezed into the corner          it was five years ago                

the refrigerator died                 i was in texas                            my mom was sick                    

i was there to be with her         in the autumn of that year       the monarch butterflies

covered the tree in the front yard         they drained the last blossoms     energy for the last leg
of their trip home to mexico    most days were sunny               the sky blue-gray

the color of my mom’s eyes      i was there six weeks                a tender time                           

the last time for my mom         her death was peaceful             one morning she took three breaths

she did not exhale                    that was it                                 that was the goodbye

after her death                          we cleaned her house for the last time      the refrigerator, too

strange what ends up there       who put it there                        where did it come from

what was it                               questions hung in the air          no one to answer


a storm had come in                 when i returned home in the snow       my refrigerator was silent                                
it chilled no more                     it was also dead                        it was as if death

followed me home                   wanted to be my friend was not through with me

there it sat                                quietly reminding me               of where i had been

what had happened                  my mom had died                    i would not see her again

sears would replace                  the refrigerator                         but could not replace my mom
October 10, 2017       


lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

There just are no words to comment here...but I will try. This is absolutely a stunning post. As a reader, I am quickly engulfed in being with you. I watch as you watch. I grieve as you grieve. I wonder as you wonder....death following you home. An inanimate object that holds meaning it will not share...remnants when the owner has died. One refrigerator cleaned, left ownerless, alone. Another, across the country, died at a similar time. One can be replaced, the other not. And certainly your mother...her last three breaths, the monarchs, the autumn of that year. This is truly stunning.

brudberg said...

This is absolutely the best I have ever read from you... a great poem, a true story of those parallel deaths. And then that final line. Really a great piece of writing.

Kim Russell said...

I had to catch my breath, Annell. This is so touching. My mum died last January and it was difficult to read your words the first time. I had to go back and read them again. It's strange the things you remember about times of tragedy.
I love the description of the monarch butterflies and the sky the colour of your mum's eyes.

Jane Dougherty said...

This is so beautifully, quietly sad. I'd never have though white goods had so much delicacy. You mix the mundane with the spiritual so well!

Sherry Marr said...

One of my favourites of yours too, Annell. It pulls the reader in, to those last weeks. The irony of your refrigerator at home dying at the same time, the closing lines........a wonderful read! It is such an honour to be at the bedside of the dying, to see them through that final breath. Especially when it is one's mother.

Frank Hubeny said...

Refrigerators dying are nothing compared to people. I'm surprised we even use the metaphor of death for them breaking. Nice poem and remembrance of your mother.

Mark Walters said...

Wow, there truly are no adequate words. God Bless You! I'm glad you were able to be with her.

Kathy Reed said...

Your sentiments are tender and painful still. Love the butterflies...the color of your mother's eyes, the whole poem.:-)

Susan Anderson said...

Brilliant, poignant, beautiful. Thanks.

Marja said...

Beautiful moving poem of loss the reflection went straight to my heart