I tell my brother

about a picture

he will love

of our mother

at twenty-five.


He will love

with his eyes

and I with mine

two worlds,

two separate realities.


I notice a trend

among the religious.

They want to keep her alive,

bury her food under syrup.

They wish her a long

and even longer life

though she has not spoken

or walked for years

and her system won’t heal

her bed sores easily.

How nice

that for your sake

she is staying,

others tell me.


I do not want this burden.


My friend asks

if I have told her

she can go.

I pause,

a long Seinfeld pause.


Out of nowhere

when she heard me

tell someone

in her presence

we thought it was the end,

she screamed!

Startled the crap out of me.


Even when my father

was nearing the end

any mention that he might die

would set him off into a rage.

Who was I to deny him hope?

Maybe she’s like that too.

Maybe if I tell her

she can go

she’ll think

we don’t want her

or that she’s a burden.


It’s a trendy thing to ask

I know.

But maybe in her faith

this send-off

is a bad idea,

a foot in the mouth,

a faux pas,

a curse!

I should google that.


Let Mystery take care

of her leave-taking.


My job is to feel

her sweetness

in my heart.

There, she can take

my little hand in hers,

embarrass me

as she sings out loud,

and together,

we can push

my newborn


in his stroller

and live

another day.


June 19, 2018

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