Mom's Last Winter

Careful not to tug or pinch

I snap her into her coat

As if she were a toddler,

Fish her sleeves for rumpled sweater

Coax cap over ears

Fetch her walker from behind the door.

Her head, my chin

No longer eye to eye.

When I was the toddler

When she buttoned my snowsuit,

Warm worn hands

Brushing the flesh of my face,

Preparing me for a journey

In tow, again, at her side,

Did she ever feel this weary?

Ever dread the spring?

Fade to Night

Twilight moments replace CT's and chemo.

Beyond the anger, past the denial,

we are now here,

enjoying this bridge to the unknown,

savoring each hour, yearning for another verdict,

but expecting no miracle.

We have been we for decades,

Now this sundown, the end of our duet,

feathers soft blue and whites into golden pinks,

stretching a horizontal grin from ear to ear on earth.

Our togetherness is on the horizon,

a slow motion sunset, slipping into unimagined color

unanticipated calm,

a sundown collapsing like bleeding watercolors

into black.

Too soon, that unknown eventual dawn will find us,

that inescapable morning when we emerge

to separate lonelinesses,

a dimension apart.

But today, hummingbirds buzz combat over sugar water,

flickers and bushtits attack suet cakes.

We devour sweet salmon dinner,

popcorn and the World Series for dessert.

We relish our warm, glowing sunset,

cold night, a distant given.