When they Try to Move her into a Single Room, My Mother Refuses Adamantly

In the picture, she is propped   
against pink pillows on a pink
bed cover, a pink sheet 
draped over 

spindle knees—
The doctor says, though she's 
no longer in the pink of health, 
her grip is strong and she can still 

cuss in Ilocano— grating 
words that would make 
you flush. Even in rosier 
days she knew 

how to wield that voice:
like sharpened shears, like 
bristling points buried in 
an innocent pincushion. 

No matter that her bones 
have slipped from their rigid 
alignments; or that her shoulders 
curve forward with no memory of ever 

bearing wings—So long as that wick 
still burns with its own particular 
fury, she'll refuse to inhabit
a single, colorless room. 

2 Replies to “When they Try to Move her into a Single Room, My Mother Refuses Adamantly”

  1. Luisa, this is such a vivid look at aging and the way sound (voice) imprints on our memory – our dialogue with incisors we can never file. Yet it is tender and aware and aches palpably with those missing wings.

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