How Long?

How long will I remember
the early morning sound
of my mother filling
her water glass at the sink?

How long the sound of the switch
on the lamp by her bed,
the toilet flushing,
her puzzled groan in the hall?

How long the sight of her purse
emptied onto the bed,
the jumble of slippers, bags,
and shoes on her closet floor?

How long her face at the door,
where she stands waving, looking on?

August 9, 2006

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