THEIR MOVING VAN DRIVES OFF, Therese Broderick

Their Moving Van Drives Off
by Therese Broderick

and so I bed down on their kitchen floor,
sleeping bag next to their one radiator
widowed by its one thermostat,
a golden monocle stuck at 60;

feet coupling near the rickety refrigerator,
coils gagging, motors coughing,
minus-seven-degree winds rasping
other tenants’ carports and dumpsters.

I close my eyes to my mother’s story:
no matter how chilly the drafts
from hand-sawed doors and shutters
her people would huddle on the carpet
of their parlor, beside their coffins–

stillborn infant, pocked schoolboy,
spinster aunt, or one more young uncle
frozen drunk on the Erie barge.

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