“Our lives are shorter than the stars but longer 
than flowers.”  ~ attributed to Jeffrey Byrd

No doors ever banged 
shut or open in our house; 
maybe rarely. The rooms

spilled over, but just short of
true chaos. Tears and tears 
and tears. But mostly 

books and laundry, laundry
and books. Expenses and some
foolish gains. The extravagance  

of a bankruptcy; years of long
recovery called restructuring,
then a cautious coming out

on some other side. The surprise
of not being  completely broken. 
A growing  quiet from the increasing 

absence of children; perhaps 
some softening in the insistence of 
their needs— In frustration 

or anger, we know we can raise 
our voices beyond the edgy 
whisper, then sink back 

into arms made 
familiar through the decades. 
Whenever we want, we can fill 

these rooms with takeout 
and instacart deliveries, 
Hulu marathons, 

off-key tunes on piano.
We already know this is
likely a preview of some

of the life remaining 
ahead, granted we live
long enough to live into it.

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