The day my mamaw dies
isn’t the day the casket closes
and the earth covers her
claiming her for good–or the hour
her breating stops and
our bated breath begins; nor is it the 
moment the last picture of her fades into nothing,
when the water erases her name
from the stone remembrance of her essence
when the last whisper of Inge leaves
the lips of her descendants; no,
the day my mamaw dies is the day the cooking ceases,
and the trembling hands tremble too much,
the moment the last light lingers
on her grandchildrens’ faces that
hits her aging eyes, the instant
that final German word is translated
for those of us who don’t understand;
it’s the morning walk not journeyed,
the dirty dish not cleaned,
the messy table not emptied,
the kitchen crumbs not swept;
at those minutes, all is lost,
she is gone; 
the rest is just time.