Kerry Zagarella


Left behind

There are so few things left now
two crisp boxes of soap
boasting a fresh morning scent promising a new day
½ roll of paper towels beginning to unravel, inpatient
and a blizzard of cotton balls
a real Nor’easter
You always bought in bulk
spend a dollar to save 2 cents

These items are my inheritance
and I am careful to spend them wisely
The last jar of your blueberry preserves I spread so thinly on our morning toast
that no one but me knew you were there
and now there are so few things left

I wear your shoes I didn’t like
the black square toed heels with the cheap buckle
All your coats that you never needed now give me comfort
I found a bag of your clothes, you cut the bottom off of every sweat shirt
I hold the frayed ends getting as close as I can to your moving body

We create spirits, angels and ghosts to serve our grief
assigning celestial meaning to the few things left
The paper towels will be gone soon
and I can’t stand the demands of all those cotton balls
Yet, it is in these common day items that I now make my religion

The importance of flies

I noticed it first in the way the water came from the faucet
there was less of it
All over the house there were less things,
an inherited being,
it was only loss that slowed water and filled rooms

But there were more dying flowers than one could handle,
everywhere flowers and fruit, brown bananas the stoic gifts
firm just days before,
teach about good soil and the importance of flies
Stacks of cheese and meat that need no refrigeration
block the peanuts and canisters of cookies claiming to be from Denmark
the house is full of it

Do I feel her in my shoulder?
the left side, under my shoulder blade has ached since her last breath
well since two minutes after her last breath
when my face left hers and I stood
Left upper back, same spot

I think about how life will change
that no longer can I say, “she died on Friday”
It’ll have to be last Friday, or two weeks ago Friday, a year ago,
it was 2008, September, I think
and time will march on, leaving grief behind
until it’ll be so far away from us
that time will be the only thing to mourn

Copyright © Kerry Zagarella 2013

Kerry Zagarella is a performance poet and toured with the first Boston Poetry Slam Team. Kerry has performed at a variety of venues, including First Night Boston, The DeCordova Museum, The Boston Architectural Society, and in the basement of many churches. Her current work has been published by Ring of Bone Press in “Wild Women of Lynn” an American Voice collection. Kerry enjoys telling stories using poetry, playwriting, prose, and recycled items.