My mother lies with unblinking eyes,
her backed-up plumbing a harsh betrayal,
mouth open as if to speak,
a knot of air tense between us.
With eyes pearled cold, she stares at the open closet.
Satin, taffeta, and flounces of organdy
roost above the fabric of hospice care,
like flamboyant birds on a wire.
A thin white sheet covers the unnatural splay of bare feet
that danced out the disappointment to exhaustion.
The room is empty tonight. I read
poems, poems, poems
as if one poem makes a difference over the other
and the reading itself is important to the cause.