My mother’s bones clatter under her skin.
Her ghosts wander the house, whispering stories,
leaves, fallen and brittle
under a tree, crackling across a sidewalk in the wind.
Somewhere the radiators’ teeth rattle and crunch.
Her walker clinks across the wooden floor
step by step across time, through her childhood, motherhood,
and now this moment, a withering stem of a lily.
Sometimes the scent of decaying petals drifts through the house.
She pulls herself, twisting her crooked body,
till she finally lies
straight across her mattress. A storm crackles across her rigid line.
There are shadows in every corner, rustling like autumn’s clatter.
Windows clink against the wind, voiceless chatter
of her dead knocking on glass.
She crackles away in the night. Her voice clatters in the silent rooms.
I am buried in the mulch of our lives.
I hold her hand, and I rise.