I see her reflection as she walks past the mall shops,
Head slightly bent,
Her chin is thickening; her waist too,
And the stylish hairdo has the shimmer of silver beneath the brown
if you look closely.
But you don’t look closely.
In fact, you can almost imagine that she is on the inside of the glass,
Browsing among the colorful throw pillows,
the shelves of neatly stacked wines,
the dresses and scarves and belts within reach to wear to a party,
The Before Life.
Inside the glass.
For a minute you can’t tell.
But then the inevitable rhythm distinguishes her from the changing scenes and bright reflections as she walks, shoulders a little stooped, looking straight ahead. Not browsing. Black sweater starting to lose its shape.
I see her stop to watch a flock of ravens swoop down from the sky and gather, nodding and squawking at each other; pecking here and there, jostling for recognition and approval, showing off shiny black coats. She pulls her sweater over her low breasts and rising stomach.
With a start, I feel the softness of the wool, the stretch around my hips. I recognize the eyes.
In the After Life.
The widow is me.