Mom and Dad left me for some big trip to California.
I want to go to California.
They made me stay with someone I don’t even like.
I knew something was up when they came back with
this giant painting. Some guy named Kinkade.
Turns out, Mom’s cancer’s back. It’s something-
or-other in her neck. Some radiologist saw the film
and fell to his knees in the lab.
“Oh my God,” he said.
Mom says, “Oh my God,” too. Every morning
with her Bible opened to some new verse.
A verse for radiation. Another for surgery.
They hung the painting above my piano
All that light streaming through a gate
Mom will never pass through.