At first light, the mother with the bones grown brittle as a sparrow’s gets up to wash her face in the ancient sink. The ceilings are still damp from the last hurricane when the roof leaked in more places than she had pails for. On the wall, faint prints of mold shaped like whorls of ears— they listen as she prays aloud or talks to her husband who left this world more than a decade ago. Far away, farther than the sights of a bird perched on some craggy roost, I follow her every move in the falling-down house: my lips touching the rim of her coffee cup, my fingers opening and closing on the shapes of bread and cheese and fruit I want to heap upon her plate; the rings of silver and gold and pearl I want to slide back, lovingly, upon those thin, arthritic fingers which once sewed every seam of my world neatly into place.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.