In the dry season, drops drift down / every afternoon. / In the wet season, water pours from the sky / all day and all night / for weeks. // Or so my mother tells me.
Mother razes and wipes, razes and wipes, / While the old oak groans beneath her fingers, // Lodging a thin splinter into her palm when, / Ungloved, she smoothes a cross-grained edge.
Every year standing in the pink papered aisle, / pulling out card after flowery card / scripted sentiments such as You were always there / for me and I am so lucky / to have you for a best friend. / Each one goes back, cardstock dropped / with a smack against plastic casing.
When I lean into my mother’s soft wool coat, / its closeted shape a new loneliness—she, no longer // seeking shelter from any cool draft—I breathe in / the lingering sense of time, of her hair, of Chanel No. 5.