30. The Question

Every day I get the question — How’s your mom?


in the grocery store

in emails

in phone calls

at church

at the health club

at board meetings

out to lunch

at a retreat


I withhold the answer —


she’s pretty nauseated

her neuropathy is worse

she’s lost her eyelashes

her toenails are falling off

she has unexplained skin rashes

her mouth is full of ulcers

she can’t sleep


And say the one thing I can —


her smile is bigger than the Texas sky.