And on the day my mother died I sat alone and unable.
Over the hours my body and my heart turned to concrete
I was so heavy I could not rouse, or rise
A storm flickered over the night city
I thought I glimpsed her in the landscape
Glancing and then turning away, and growing younger
I made a pie from late summer peaches
I made a call to someone who loved her
And struck him immobile with grief
I spoke in comfort to my children far away
My husband wept, remembering his own mother
In her last week, she saw a young woman with a pitcher of water in her room
Whom I could not perceive.
We talked about the deep past.
She occasionally gave me a brilliant smile.
She was often weary.
We went all the way through her mass card book one night;
She remarked on each person there
The legion she was setting out to join
And I’d like to think that when she loosed the mooring and drifted free
She saw them all, all those people from her mass cards,
gathered on the opposite shore
Arms outstretched and perhaps waving
And the boat sped straight and swiftly to her welcome and the light.