Mother shrinks in her bed
sloughing off her years
making light work of herself.
Only her cough grows,
the number of times she says
she is ready. Her house is still
her: aprons waiting in original boxes
squashed tangle of deflated plastic bags
handbags hiding rain bonnets and loose bills
crumpled in pockets
half-dissolved cough drop stuck to the lining,
prized silver tea service
promised to me,
postcards, every one she ever received
all those beaches and travelers
who wished her there.
Under the bathroom sink we find
her ball of soap shards, shriveled
end-slivers of Ivory, pearl pale,
her handmaid sphere of
waste not want not.
This is what I take
instead of silver.
Joan Pedzich is a retired law librarian who lives and writes on the south coast of Lake Ontario. Her work has been published in Lake Affect, Halfway Down the Stairs and in Literary Mama. She was a featured author at Writers & Books Genesee Reading Series. For fun, she plays golf, which, like writing, requires a short game and is much harder than it looks.