We came expecting to comfort my mother.
She comforts us with muffins and tea.
We expected that cancer would leave her looking pale.
She finds makeup to match her post-chemo complexion.
We thought she might wear a gown and robe.
She wears a red dress with black high-heeled sandals.
We give her an early birthday gift — just in case.
She gives us a book, a CD, and two newspaper articles.
We look at the clock. It’s past time to hit the road.
She keeps right on ticking, like that card game
she’s so darn good at — Beat the Clock.