— Nancy Meyer

Her silver place card holders.
No tarnish.  Thin as a lie.
Oval, the L bold in the center.
N and S curve sedately at the sides.
Nettie Samuels Levy.

I did not inherit
her monogrammed silver cigarette case,
glass bookends, frayed green towels embroidered
in brown. Not the crystal highball glasses etched
NSL, the white linen hand towels stitched in white.

Initials on handkerchiefs stacked
in the mahogany dresser, inlaid
clasp of her purse, nestled on
the pocket of her blue silk robe.
Look hard at her good silver: L hides
among the rosettes.

At 80 she was caught shoplifting from Saks.
A lipstick, costume jewel, scarf, a rhinestone bracelet.
Treasures sliding into fur pockets
until one day Security took her by the elbow.
Booked at the Seventeenth Precinct.

The therapist said
she wanted only to be seen.

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