She took the stash from a flowerless vase
and wiped her streaked face--again,
and took the box that stored tiny shoes
unraveling pink and blue
and Winnie the Pooh bibs amid other
what might have been.
A suitcase holding little more
than a memory
sat by the door, and she kept
a vigil for the taxi
she had called
months before and years ago.
Bruises healed...concealed the scars
of endurance...assurance she'd stay,
so he thought.
she would ride past the city limit sign
and smell the paper mill
one... last... time.