Tuesday, September 28, 2010
My mother’s name on twelve new socks.
Eighty-eight years old, one eye weak and a mind to match,
she’ll neither see nor recognize my hand.
A new pair of slippers, wide enough for wayward toes,
black-block letters on gray soles.
If I’m at home, is she away at camp?
Lotion for dry skin. Toothpaste for what remains
of Stonehenge. An old, familiar brand.
Tissue for a sneeze that rarely comes — but when it does,
oh, lord. The rest for Sunday-singing should warm tears arise,
or moonlight find her room through unclosed blinds.
In a hat beneath gray skies, beside chrysanthemums
and trees that sigh, reckoning geese in fog and the smoke
of ties that bind, strikes deep the hour never really done,
tolls the sound of father, son, and gone.
“Supplies” added to Poems, Slightly Used.
9.28.2010 #1 (drawing)