Jason Shinder

The Visit

My only mother, who lost sixty pounds, tried to stand up in the bathroom
and fell backwards on the white linoleum floor in the first hour of the morning
and was carried to the bed in the nurse's arms and then abruptly
opened her eyes, later, the room dark, and twisted the needles in her arms
and talked to her dead friend, Rosie, and heard the doorbell ring
as though in the kitchen in the old place deciding if she should answer,
rubbing the circle on her finger where the wedding ring once was
while slipping downward on the sheets like a body without limbs and I slid
my good arms beneath her arm-pits and pulled her bony body up
against the two thin pillows. And then, when she was asleep again,
I walked down the hallway's arc of yellow light, ghosts hovering
on either side of the doors of rooms where the strange sickness
of being alive was the last thing between dreaming and eternity
which closes like the ocean closes over the blue-starry body
and does not stop, and I understood again that we never come back,
and upright, with everything that takes its life seriously, I returned to my mother.
213 Total read