The widow

She waits up til 5 am to start brewing tea
Watches the pale flowers float in the yellow-green
Licks the salted ends of her fingers to heal wounds
I sit with her on Sundays after morning service
Because I remind her so much of her daughter
Dark, dark morena
Who went off and married a gringo
She’s worried her grandchildren will come out like biscuit dough
Whey-faced and too soft for this world
She rubs her arthritic knuckles in worry
Wonders if her late husband got the dulces she set out
The apricots she lets dry in the sun
5 ams come more often than visitors
There is only one shopping bag per week
One quick trip, but the weight of lonely
Presses down hard on her back
Nothing is stale but there is a smell of absence
Who do you live for when there is so much surplus love?
Her palms have softened
Everything is so temporary
There is so much caught up in her lungs
All the rosaries, the unrequited prayers
The sense of doubt, the rubber gloves
Fabuloso and faded curtains
The sacrifice, the mourning linens
The vague fear
There might be twenty more years of solitude

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