The Almost-Last Visits

Don’t make this one about your mother,
how you saw an anniversary card she wrote to your father,
and it made no sense, her mind slipping under the pain meds,
about six weeks before she died, as it turned out —
but you didn’t know that then,
visiting as if it were any other visit, only with
artificial voices, bright and cheerful, and then terror
at the wrongness of everything, the slipping of everything,
every night in the guest bedroom,
alone. (Or was your husband there? Were your children there?
Funny that you don’t remember — the almost-last visits blur.)
Don’t write about how when she reached over one night
on the couch, to rub your neck and shoulders, you were startled that,
after all, you were still the daughter and she was still the mother,
and still strong enough in her hands, still wanting to do
something for you.
Don’t write another poem about your mother
and how she was sick and how she died.
Don’t write about grief.

Today’s prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads was to write about the moment just before something ends.


6 thoughts on “The Almost-Last Visits

  1. Oh, I feel this one. I can see it all so clearly, the visit that one doesn’t know will be the last visit. Until it is. Sigh. A poignant and powerful poem, Marilyn. So sorry you lost your mother. That is a hard passage to make.

  2. I am so sorry you lost your motber. I lost my mother last June and it has finally taken this long to start writing about it, about her. Don’t stop writing about it. Don’t.

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