This poem can be found in the anthology “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” edited by Sandra Martz.
Survived By His Wife
by Margaret Flanagan Eicher
Eyes swollen she lay in their bed —
Head covered, legs drawn up,
cold though her forehead was damp —
who had warmed herself on his warm flesh.
Now his absence was a constant companion:
his hairbrushes, his keys,
his clothes still smelling of him
in his closet, covered, like museum artifacts.
She shuddered, remembering the shoes he wore
were still beneath the bed
exactly as he left them,
as if covered by a glass case.
All of the things he had handled,
used, inhabited, and finally left
were covered or lying about
like the frames of stolen paintings left behind.