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An original poem, by Kathryn Cody
Mrs. Hall
The first summer after Mrs. Hall died,
everyone said it just wasn’t the same.
For 25 years she’d been out there
on her hands and knees,
a willing slave to iris and lilac
and those wicked poppies.
Under the Kentucky sun,
her skin turned beetle brown.
I didn’t go back for the funeral,
didn’t want to see her cloaked in January’s frost,
a garish pale amidst leftover poinsettias;
Or watch idly as she was swallowed whole
by the indifferent earth she’d always nourished.
Another widow bought her house,
inheriting its fragrant tenants.
Neighbors stood by,
unwilling pallbearers that first summer,
as weeds and renegade bluegrass invaded
what seemed to us
Holy ground.