Teeth marks in the Milky Way

reflected the suddenness of death,

and kept me in touch with her

through long days of intense grief.

I hid it in the refrigerator

behind the never-used jar

of pear preserves—

Sure that it would be safe forever there,

always available for me to hold,

as I pondered mysteries

quite beyond me,

and tried to come to terms

with the fact that

mothers die.

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