Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mom's Birthday

Max, Nell, Trey, Mom

My Mother’s 90th Birthday

She never gets out of bed.
Her lifeless left side
keeps her there at the mercy
of her daughter and her nurse,
providers of food, drink,
cleanliness, fresh bedclothes.

But this one afternoon
she stirs and seems to hover
in the air, suspended,
as a parade of visitors
comes bearing cards
and good wishes: for comfort?
a long life? the year ahead?
She asks, “Aren’t we lucky?”

I photograph the guests
entering in clusters. She never tires
of posing with them,
her good right side smiling
to spite her passive left.
For once, her appetite is enormous.
South Carolina Poetry Initiative Online Chapbooks

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