Friday, September 18, 2020


 In her room, in her last chair by the window,

My mother was sitting

her liver shutting down

cells fatty and scarred.

When I remember her now,

she sat all her life.

Sitting as living, sitting as dying.

My father said,

“Her mother liked to sit, too.”

I am like them both.

Sitting as breathing, sitting as sleeping.

I remember her quilt, her heating pad,

her TV tray holding a bowl of oatmeal

or one slice of tomato on a hamburger.

Her own mother was gone for so many years.

Now there is a philodendron and a piano,

Two yellow canaries and the last gray finch

They are sitting perched in their cage

pecking and sleeping-

a fur of feathers, rounding their bodies

slipping their heads into their chests.

At the piano I sit, playing

“The Heart Asks Pleasure First.”

They begin singing.