I am alone in my kitchen
standing.
Outside,
a wail.
My eyes scan the room
plucking images
a rectangular magnet stuck on the fridge
a torn open, half-empty plastic package of paper towels
a never-used bread machine.
I am alone in my kitchen
standing.
My mind travels beyond the room
plucking images
my daughter suppressing an unwanted giggle
my middle son swallowing a cry lodged in his throat
my older son biting both cheeks and breathing through a stuffy nose instead
I am alone in my kitchen standing.
My heart is indeed swollen
as it should be.
I don’t know if it’s for the soldiers
or if it’s for my children
or if it’s for the wail itself.
I am alone in my kitchen
standing.

the half mast flag on hannaton

Half-mast on Hannaton. Photo by Jen Maidenberg.