after everyone was gone

i threw away the flowers
but kept the dried lavender
and yellow roses.
they were still beautiful
even dead.

i took down
the halloween decorations,
because your lingering
haunted me.

i cleaned. i cleared, i cried,
tried to will myself whole,
failed to will myself whole
and cried again.

but i stayed vertical,
the harder choice most days.
i didn’t stop.
tossing flowers
and taking down ghosts.

i kept moving.
that had to be enough
after everyone was gone.

this is not a poem, son.
it just looks like one.