The Day After She Left

I roll my wheelchair through the rooms of the house, Jenny in step behind me.

In the living-room, the empty couch where she slept.  Around the fireplace, a string of lights she installed one Christmas.

Through the sun room window, the hummingbird feeder she planted and filled waits for a visitor.

In the kitchen, I open the refrigerator door and look for something for breakfast.  Past the potato salad, lasagna, and cucumber salad she made, I reach for the peanut butter, placing it and the last banana on a tray.  I make a cup of green tea, then take my breakfast back to the bedroom.

I settle in bed, adjusting the tray across my lap.  Jenny sits beside me.  Cleo, the cat, lies at my feet.  Watchful of my every move, both wait for a morsel they believe is their due.  The flowers she gave me arranged in a vase on the off-white French bureau add an uplifting feel to the room.

Outside, a cardinal eats seeds from the window feeder she sent last winter.  Now a squirrel arrives,  frightening the cardinal away.  Cleo runs to the window and furiously claws at the glass.   The squirrel, unruffled, continues his meal.

After breakfast, I return the tray to the kitchen, rolling through the rooms once more, traces of her in almost every quiet room.



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