By Linda VanOrden
Wet September trickled through our door with Mr. Abberly- Early for a change. Shaking his trench coat, Sprinkling translucent beads from his Red beard, He collapsed to the floor- By the umbrella stand In our porch where the cobwebs hung. My mother held his head, Helped him to speak About the birth of his new son, Seth, And the death of his wife At three that morning. I crouched behind the white banister On the stairs That Monday morning before school, Picking a ketchup stain from my school tie. No more orange squash or Garibaldi biscuits after class In Mrs. Abberly's white stone kitchen. I don't know why death didn't strike me as strange When I was seven.