for my mother
If you could have picked your own heaven, it would be here at Ocean City with the waves’ arched eternity of comings and goings and that sweet shop on the boardwalk that makes the macaroons you loved. All those drives home on Saturday nights, your mmmmm with each bite softened the parkway breeze squeezing into our car. Even in the nursing home, after you’d lost your appetite for almost everything, the box of moist macaroons could brighten you enough to get you speaking about the shore and how you met my father in ’29. Tonight the moon turns other lovers into shadows on the beach where I stand holding these macaroons that I bought remembering how you loved them. Behind me lights dim on the souvenir stands and the carousel’s circle wheezes to silence, and I feel what you felt for life’s giant and tiny joys, like oceans and macaroons. Somewhere from the center of the sea’s beautiful darkness, your soul blesses me still as I take a macaroon from the waxed paper and bite into the warm, wet coconut, a sweet communion with what you loved, a celebration of life after death.