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Monday, July 18, 2016

Mother at the End of the Line

Her afternoon begins
with a long shower
she's still able to accomplish
The towels have been warmed
above a heated register
Their first touch to skin
reminds her of another touch
someone who once loved her
The next hour is for her hair
brushing and combing
getting it just right
creating the bun in the back
she always wore
but today seems important
that she spend some extra time
to get every hair in its place
Her glasses help her eyes
stare into a magnifying mirror
on a stand by the sink
as she applies her makeup
Her eyebrow pencil
needs to be sharpened
and she calls for it to be
just so
Foundation lipstick eyeliner
all placed with extra care
Then one final look
though her thick glasses
as she puts on her rings
that sat in the cloisonné dish
on the right of the sink
Next her finest black pants suit
with the fringe on the sleeves
the zipper on the back
of the shirt
Again she calls for help
Sitting on the edge
of her large king size bed
where she sleeps on the side
she's slept on for years
one leg at a time
her wrinkled legs
enter each column of crepe
much as an actress
gets ready for her close-up
She directs the helping hands
to reach into the top drawer
of a walnut Karges dresser
to find the gold bangles
for her arms
the green silk scarf
for her neck
then to reach
into the bottom drawer
for the thick round green
bangles for her ankles

“My black heels, please.”

The first thought begins
to form that something
is not right

“Are they arriving yet?”
she asks.
“Who, Mother?” you reply
“Why, my guests, of course.”
“What guests?”
“For the party.”

There is no party
and hasn't been for years
It's just another night
after long nights
when you sit with her
eating dinner in front
of the television
changing channels
to her favorite shows

There is no party for Mother
“There is no party,” you say
Her face betrays a micro-shock

Her mouth opens
as her face turns sad
from the excited anticipation
of the entire day
as tears well in her eyes
“Then bring me my slippers.”

The “stars” dance
on a glowing screen
just for Mother
at her party

at her party
at the end of the line

Barry G. Wick

1 comment:

Kent said...

Barry, a heartfelt tribute to your wonderful mother and for those of us who couldn't help but love her at first sight.