He said, "Remember, we leave tomorrow."

I remembered. Tomorrow people will come
and buy the dregs of a family's winnowing;
a need to own what we had coveted; a greed.

"We've got to be ready for the auction," he said. "Early."
"But I have to tend the garden . . . "

I'll pull the zinnias first,
their leaves crisp and sere below bright faces.
Light-hued fuchsia, patches of herbs.
While hollyhocks, mums and faded vines
seize my hand in twining plea since
only her burial earth remains
to hide dim parts of me.

He growled, "It's late."
I'll torch her sad detritus and burn the roses near the door.
Then seeing nothing more my fiery gaze cremated,
I'll expunge her death's remains
by embracing loving blazes,
by drinking cleansing flames.

"Get in here," he called.

I wrapped my tears around me
within my deep asylum, still wary
of my hiding place;

my mother's sanctuary.