Mom's Story

ANOTHER MESSAGE
(7/6/07)


I'm on
the telephone
scrambling around
a desk drawer
trying to find
something
on which to write
a name
and number

the
designated drawer
has notepads
from various
jobs
companies
with which I've dealt
and guilt tinged
promotionals
from various
charitable organizations
so I plunge in my hand
and pull out
the first one
that I
grab

you would think
that after
almost seven years
that the signs
would fade
Mom's things
either sent
to my sister
or relegated
to storage
limiting
any chance
of rediscovery

but here
it was
one of her
last notes
made during
another phone
conversation
in August
of 2000

I know this
because I
was on the
other side
of that line
reading off
the name and address
of the assisted
living center
to which
I was moving
her

reading off
to her
the place
where she
would die

she
wrote it down
considering it
a temporary
inconvenience
but I knew
that it was
only temporary
due to the nearing
permanence
of her fate

I hated knowing
the certainty
of the situation
still pretending
that the move
was short term
until her terminal
condition
improved

I was
the one person
whom she could trust
and was telling her
the biggest lie
of her life

I should have
kissed her cheek
in the garden
to seal
the deal

"are you still there?

are you alright?"

the voice
startled me
but I carefully
folded back
the page
with her careful
and exact
cursive

"I'm still here

yes

I'm ready"