also published in The Joy of Poetry
The nurse assistant comes to wash the body
in her bed with sterile towels.
“We’re going to the beauty shop,” she chirps.
“Gonna get you all pretty.”
Morning sun streams through windows
there’s new evidence of disease.
“You’ve really been through it, hon, haven’t you?”
The nurse mutters.
She asks me to help her as she sweats
and lifts and turns the almost dead
weight. I am not strong enough. But I notice
when she washes my mom’s hair oh!
there is a sound
that happy sound my mother always makes
at the beauty shop. I sigh,
“Mom loved to have her hair washed.”