Grandma’s Chest



An envelope within an envelope
was neatly folded in the bottom drawer
among the linens, fancy bar of soap
and empty picture frame, with nothing more.

A graduation photo and embossed
announcement once had filled the gilded frame:
her absent child — estranged, unyielding, lost.
For forty years, she’d only breathed his name.

The family held vigil while she slept
until the chaplain called us from the room.
Unnoticed by us all, a figure crept
dejectedly into the silent gloom.

He laid his head across his mother’s breast
as one last heartbeat waned in Grandma’s chest.

© Mary Boren, 2015

Public Domain Photo