Her fingers interlaced, she held her hands
Between her knees, as though in fallen prayer:
Clutched, a travesty of knots, the way
A plant, outgrown its pot, has tangled roots
Writhing in one ball, its clotted soil
Now one thick mass of string. She drily wrung
Her knuckles, fingers, wedding ring; now every
Vein and artery a rosary,
Her grief wrought out. Her paper-coloured palms
A palimpsest of futures, lines crossed out,
Rewritten time and again; she held her hands,
As though no man could would take them, anymore.
The word “relict” was often used on Grants of Probate, only a few decades ago, to refer to the widow of the deceased. The etymology of the word is fascinating, and well worth a quick Google.