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At first I had forgotten about it,
was twelve when she put it in this front closet
behind the rarely worn suit and winter coats.
Mom and dad would often scream in the living room,
and on that day she grabbed luggage and clothes.
But minutes passed and voices grew softer
to muted whispers behind their bedroom door.
Later unnoticed I saw mom unpacking the valise,
but then she stared out the front window and repacked the clothes
and hid the just-in-case suitcase behind the unused suit and winter coats.
Was twelve then and now I’ve returned.
Mom lies close to tears and almost motionless on the couch.
I do what I came here to do.
I take out that rarely used suit and hope it fits for this one last time.
And then I’ll claim his winter coats for my inheritance.
But then, well, at first I had forgotten about it,
“Mom what’s this valise doing here?”
Her dam of tears finally broke and even flooded my eyes.