Mother's sister Rose died in 1959.
For 23 years afterwards,
Mother spent at least 10 minutes
in a room alone,
talking to Rose,
sharing news Rose would want to hear.
Then Mother closed the door and got on.
She never told anyone.
I discovered only when once I heard her,
in the next room.
She was embarrassed.
She knew I would not understand,
feared I would think her crazy....
I thought her just silly, and teased.
Mother was buried on the coldest day
ever recorded in Alabama,
the 11th of January, 1982.
Yet, at this very moment I tell her
about you, Shui Yee.
She and I, and Rose too, urge you
to find your own ways
to close the door and live.