Dad calls at 5 a.m. “It may be today.”
I have an ob/gyn appointment, 100 miles away.
I go anyway. Surely, she won’t die
without me there.
The doctor doesn’t want to let me leave because
My blood pressure is racing. I beg her,
“My mother is literally on her death bed.”
She relents. Does my Pap smear in 10 minutes.
Doesn’t charge me.
I get to Mom’s bedside in time, but she’s not ready to die
today. She’s wandering the house:
“Why is it so cold?”
“Who are all these people?”
Mom stares at me — her only daughter —
sitting next to Amy, my brother’s wife,
as if she’s never seen me before.
“Are you two sisters?” Mom asks.
Amy answers (because I can’t),
Now we are.