84 Years


She looks down at her hands,
swollen and patterned with cracks
of dried skin and freckles.

Memoirs of her husband's war collect
like dirt under her fingernails,
her eyes pinned open in the night,
forced to relive the bullet wounds;
the forests painted green and red.

She sits quietly by herself every morning,
her knuckles turning pale blue
from the wintery draft coming through her window,
surrounded by photographs of people
she used to know.

A crumpled notepad sits on her bedside table:
"Grocery list:
bread
milk
death certificates"

Raising her wrists,
she remembers the feeling of her fingers
intertwined with those of a young man,
soft and warm.

She looks down at her hands.
empty

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