Today I read that Margaret L, 58, passed away
quietly at home and wondered if downstairs
her husband sat flipping channels

on the remote, saying he’d be right up,
their dog asleep nearby in a darkened kitchen.
What does it matter whether

she pulled the bedroom blinds to shut out
streetlight before slipping between sheets.
I see her, paperback in hand,

the last thing she read, this woman I didn’t know
who might have gone down for the glass of water
she liked to keep by her bedside.

Perhaps, she followed a sliver of light upstairs,
while outside a star-dotted sky beckoned.
Or, maybe, her heart stopped as she

planned tomorrow’s dinner, deciding
meatloaf, potatoes, the way I did tonight
after finishing the newspaper.

I sliced onions that made me weep, stood
banging pots and pans as the water ran,
potatoes in the sink, waiting to be peeled.