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October 2014, vol 10 no 3

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Ina Scott


It is my mother's last night. I watch her waver on the tattered edge between this world and the next. She lies in bed, her robust form now a small mound under the thin blanket. Everything about her seems fragile, like a bubble floating toward a thorny bush. She who has whistled, laughed, sung her way through eighty-five years is quietly drifting away, the pull of eternity gaining strength against the force of gravity. I ask her to sing me a song. She motions for me to lie down so I climb in bed beside her. As we lie there, bodies touching, she sings in a raspy voice, "I love you baby." She squeezes my hand and says "Now you sing to me." My song comes out a tuneless sputtering of constricted syllables, "I love you Mama." For a while we just lie there together and breatheā€¦our last communion.

scent lingering
on withered petals
I wear my mother's nightgown