Her skirt hangs limply as she pegs laundry on the line,
A swarm of gnats flitting around her as her child plays at her feet.
The debris of her life flaps stiffly in the breeze,
Washed and bleached to perfection,
Evidence of nothing at all.
She continues to chant the answer given to neighbors:
“We're just fine, thank you, and my mother is well.”
She doesn't embellish the story, knowing that
They know it isn't true anyhow.
Her backbone sags, depression dragging her previously supple form
Into a question mark curve.
It's only temporary, she tells herself,
And the dock will re-hire him,
And he'll return to work and stop looking as
Half-eaten as his lunch left on the faded Formica table.