By Laura McCollough Moss
I started to cry on the I-190
Just before the dreaded exit
"What's the matter, Honey?" she asked,
"Don't do this, Laura."
The number 6 off-ramp loomed
"I'm going to be fine."
Where did it come from
the strength, the calm?
Try to put yourself in her place,
Lying expectantly in your backless gown
and paper hat,
Terry gripper socks on your feet.
The pre-op IV flowing in but they tell you
they can't give you anything 'good' yet.
The waiting, waiting, waiting
"Why don't you guys go have your lunch?
I'll be fine here. There's no
reason for you to hang around."
And we left her there
glad to be spared the going-away party.
Shedding tears at the ATM,
morose over the day's special.
Eight-and-one-half hours they worked
She had plainly expressed her disapproval of
such an aggressive procedure.
"If you can't get it all, I want you to close me up."
or hoped against hope
or took advantage of the teaching opportunity
Whatever the reason it got ugly but they did their best.
She was a ten-day girl.
Ten days at Roswell,
Ten days at Rehab. and a little while in between before
Ten days of Hospice.
She's gone now
And I'm preparing to trade the Freestyle.
Her chariot of fire.
She was there in the passenger seat,
Lamb to lion
and I didn't know it would be so hard to
let it go.
"She wouldn't keep the old thing,"
Daddy Mike consoles me and I have to laugh.
That's the point.