Early one Lenten morning, I see a handmade
Halloween ghost still hanging
on the back porch. I’m so used to it
swinging in the breeze that I had stopped noticing
its beat up body,
a combination of Kleenex, string, and a cotton ball.
If we had had any rain at all it would have
disintegrated by now, but it’s dry as July.
We’re all tired of waiting
for the other shoe to drop,
for Mom’s cancer to take the upper hand.
Yesterday she dressed up for a party —
one I missed — my tiny fever too
risky for her toxic state.
My brother said she cleaned up real nice,
didn’t look like death warmed over,
like my little ghost, which I finally cut
down and buried in the alley trash.