Andrea Hays

Shaving a Dead Man

You fought me about this on a daily basis

you usually won

Now you lie still as I fix your hair

parting it on the side your wife preferred

Eyelids held closed

so that your children won’t have to see

your vacant doll’s eye stare

I remove the catheter, IV lines

and other telltale evidence

of a broken man

Nobody knows that I play

your favorite music

speaking gently

because I know part of you is still here


Breaking down the House


We all wanted the silver


The oldest got the China

boxed up with confrontation and mistrust

Over in the corner I spy the crate of neglect

next to the carefully rolled up abandonment issues


who will take the trunk of verbal abuse

the set of not feeling worthy enough

the matching tears nobody wiped away


There is a hole in the box of attention

small bits escaping through the years

pounced on and secreted away-

afraid they will be taken again and stored

on an ever higher shelf






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