Home Care

It’s better to have a dead mother
than one you have to take care of,

Dad says after minutes of silence,
as we cross the street, hands fisted

in our pockets, as if the thought
had just occurred to him, but I knew

it had been consuming him
for the last two years. I keep asking

myself when I’m gonna get to live
my life again. And I nod my head,

not quite in agreement
or empathy. I stare at our shoes,

and their synchronized steps up the hill,
and I hope he doesn’t mistake sympathy

stuck in my throat for silence, or silence
for agreement, for saying After seeing you
struggle, I won’t care for you.