May I Have A Moment of Your Time?

Alexis McIlvain

A garbage truck
backs up right outside
of our front window,
almost drowning out
the neighbor’s knock—
My daughter died
on Route 295
this morning, the
paramedics said
her face is gone,
she was twenty-one.
There’s a whistle
from the kettle
on the stovetop—
I do not think to ask
the grieving mother in
for a cup of tea— or
a glass of wine—
I am the same age
as her daughter.
We went out for
pizza last night…
God must have a plan—
She stands there,
in our shared hallway,
apologizing a third time
for coming over,
then mentions she
needs to make lunch
for her other children
who stayed home
from school today.
I can hear rain— it is
eleven in the morning,
the parking spaces
outside the apartment
building are empty—
everyone is young here.

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