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