Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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This time my mother got it all right.
The year, the month, and the day.
The president’s name. Where she’s staying.
So she thinks she’s going home.
When I stop by the rehab center, she tells me
to make sure the heat’s turned up,
the cable switched on again, fresh
milk in the fridge.
Her stricken hand stays flopped in her lap
over the leg they’ve strapped
to the footrest of her wheelchair,
while her good hand flies
through the air, planning her getaway
from Green Acres Manor.
Everyone here’s nice again. She’s ready
to forgive the aide
she’s sure swiped the Hershey bar
from her dinner tray,
the therapists who pushed her to do
more steps behind the walker.
For a few seconds she stares at me
with those dark eyes
that always kept me in line, that
now say she misses my father.
She knows he never would have
let this happen.