Mom and Dad came from the east bearing birthday gifts
smoked turkey, brisket, creamed
corn, potato salad, coleslaw,
sausage, beans, ribs, chocolate chunk cookies.
We dig in.
Mom, adept at hiding chemo’s forced starvation,
picks at her food (except for the cookie).
I break out the Fat Tire — our favorite microbrew,
an amber ale divinely inspired on a bike trip. I sip,
savor the label: “Follow your folly. Ours is beer.”
Mom’s is to believe until the last possible second
that she will be spared.