A DYING MOTHER


It was a joyous occasion
Not for me
Nor her
But the football star
In the next room over
The one
With the cheerleaders
Beaming over his bed
Shaking their pom-poms
While dorky friends
Wished they were him
With a broken ankle
And winning touchdown
Just their shouts
Of joy
Or infantile whispers
Made me
Want to murder them
Or at least
Make them suffer
On this bright fall
Day
As my mother lay
Dying
In her hospital bed
Wrapped in her religion
Moving away from me
Holding hands
With another
Like a first time date
Shyly dancing
To his touch
Leaving no space
To cut in
Or request
Our song
She was going home
With him
As teammates
Laughed
And girlfriends
Tittered
I watched her
Leave the prom
To the chorus
Of youth . . .
I rejoiced
In their oblivion
While muting the truth
That the strains
Of this measure
Were not yet theirs
To share
For that note
Eternally plays
Far too soon

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