She lost him last year.
Seventy one he was.
In their decades,
he brought her tea to her chair,
two, three, four times a night.
“Are you bottomless?” he would say.
She would smile,
because she knew he would bring it anyway.
Yard sales were their favourite haunt,
and he would always pick up some foolish trinket
to add to her dusty collection.
She would feign annoyance,
but would have him build another shelf when needed.
They were good together, and their money was enough.
But no more-
behind in the rent,
she was turned out of their neat little apartment.
Welfare led her to this forlorn hallway
with a door that would not lock,
a peephole without a peeper,
a one-person kitchen,
a hotplate, and a rollaway bed.
Cracked walls and peeling paper.
Her collection? Thrown away in tears,
except the one thing he had bought her
that she never had put on display:
a dainty painted teapot you could plug in
as a night light.
Tonight, she does that,
just above her old kettle and once-white cup.
It dispels the greyness.
She remembers him, and she cries.