Years after your death

Dear father, the dreams don't come anymore. I don't see
the hems of your bathrobe trailing along the wooden floor,
or hear your heavy footfalls circling the house
perimeter. Salt remains salt in the shaker, and door
hinges sing only to themselves that old echo of close-
open-close-open. I draw the chain and fix the locks
before going to bed each night. Dear mother, water trickles
from the taps and fills each bottle we will drink from
in summer. The roses have shriveled because it's still
winter. The grass is ashen. I remember how many cups
of milk and flour, how much sugar. The hen gives up
its eggs and settles back into the straw. Where you are,
I wonder if birds fly to follow the seasons, if the sun
rises and the moon sets; if you dunk a piece of bread
in a cup of coffee and chew it slowly before swallowing.  

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