The movers are here this morning.
Only things with yellow post-its,
I tell them. I find my long lost earring
behind the couch. Probably landed there
that night we couldn’t wait to get upstairs.
I put it in my pocket, wonder
if I kept the other one.

I divide the sterling service for eight
into two sets of four –
Solomon solution of no use
to either of us for dinner parties. Outside,
the garden needs tending – stalks of gray and brown;
withered blossoms in a winter without snow.
I reach for the pruners, then put them back.
The roses are his now.

Tonight I fix a curry with stuff from the fridge,
and we make small talk – my new job, his vacation.
Afterwards, we clean up in choreography
perfected through twenty years of meals together.

I feign tiredness and ask if he’ll be around
tomorrow before I leave.
No, there’s an early meeting, he says
and turns back to TV.
In the guest room, the sheets smell stale.
The old cat comes and curls into the crook of my knees –
an exquisite kindness.

Sarah Russell
First published in the Goodreads Newsletter

Winner of the Goodreads poetry contest
Republished in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily 
Republished in WAVES: A Confluence of Women’s Voices