62. Last Words

Dad calls at 5 a.m.

“It may be today”

but yesterday she ate cherry pie


today I have an ob/gyn appointment 100 miles away

my blood pressure races

I beg the doctor “My mother is literally on her death bed.”

She frees me. No charge.

I get home in time, but Mom is not there


in bed. She wanders the house

turns up the heater on this warm March day

sits on the couch and pleasantly inquires

as if she has never met me

never met my sister-in-law

“Are you two sisters?”


Amy takes my hand to hush me

answers: “Yes, ma’am!”