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 — Mom’s favorite brew,
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 right up until the last possible moment.