She found the paper unexpectedly
In a brief tidy fit
While making room for someone else
Scrambling belongings haphazardly
To be a good hostess. Only later
(In the bathroom, to hide it)
She pieced together the scraps, confused,
And read back
Her own thoughts in caricature, now
A stranger’s approximation
Of what she was supposed to convey
A pragmatism of feeling, that somehow
Missed all she wanted to say, to justify
Her life’s early abdication.
She quietly concurred with the mangler’s choice, then
She saw the note
The rips, devoid of anger, smiled
As tears began to flow
Who had done this, what they had thought
While tearing, she did not know.
Only their message remained.
“I will not allow you closure.
This isn’t your legacy. It isn’t over.”