april's room REDO


was all
you left behind
on one bookshelf—
two tiny
words with
no place to

though, really,
there was more:

a handful of stray pills
that got away
and hid under
the bed, under
the rose rug
that belonged
to my grandmother,
and some that
snuck into crevices
between poets
on bookshelves

three large paper clips
four large binder clips
a tiny owl earring
with orange eyes
a camera lens cap
the rubber lid to your
traveling coffee mug

three hair bands
three plastic hangers
a pink round ball
of lip gloss
(mostly gone)
a plastic dispenser
of new floss

and 72 cents
in change

In your big blue
Ikea bag
I packed up
most everything
but the change
and the lip gloss
and threw in
my blender,
which I never
use, and two
cups you used
almost daily
for tea

they feel
like yours now

I wish you well
on your new life
as I sweep what
was your room

but I keep
circling back
to the bookshelf
like a fish in a bowl
to ponder
the mystery
of those two
left-behind words,
which, because you,
too, are a poet,
will stay with me:





for April, who lived at my house for 19 months, before setting out on her independent grownup life as a teacher

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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8 Responses to wall/here

  1. Hilary A says:

    Talk about walls! This is the best kind.

  2. buzzardnotes says:

    I like this poem. Says a lot!

  3. Sonya says:

    A lovely tribute to April’s stay. Best of luck to you, April, in your new adventures. Please keep in touch.

  4. So lovely, Jan. That 72 cents really got to me.

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