Over the Falls

Like a breath inside
a pill bottle
that my father tossed
off a bridge into
the Niagara River and
then into the falls.
They got married
not far from there;
she wore a pillbox hat
when it was time
to go away. I wasn’t
there then, in 1965,
but I was there
in 2010, when my
father said goodbye
to her small hands,
her one pointed ear,
everything that
could be burned,
and was, and sent it
over the falls
“in a barrel,” he
said. I was startled.
I was glad to be there.
Later, we had pizza,
or beef on weck, or
we walked over for
the nightly fireworks,
or maybe that was
the night he said
he was too tired.
So much happened
later, and since.
But a part of me is
still on that bridge,
watching the water
converge, make the
shape of a heart
at the spot where
she went away —
the last place
I ever saw her,
my mother.

For the PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 12. Prompt: a poem for/about something that cannot be seen.


2 thoughts on “Over the Falls

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