The room where my mother died—
I’ve passed through since, have
eaten at this dining table where
her rented hospital bed stood
for a brief, yet long, four months.
I’ve vacuumed up cracker crumbs
in the same place as those faded
urine stains, can still hear the slosh
of dark yellow cloudy water as I
emptied her drainage bag, can still
smell the strong sulfurous odor, can still
hear the imagined bladder spasms
as I splashed liquid into plastic jug.
Even after three years, I still feel
her hand in mine as we blessed the food
I would soon spoon into her mouth,
her swollen body immobile.
She smiled and called me an angel as if
she’d never seen me before. I think
about that each time we gather here,
each year we gather here.