Sleeping in Late with My Mother
She apologizes. It’s not like her. She’s usually up by six.
But it’s the weekend, you tell her, there is no need to rush!
The plan for the day is breakfast somewhere and walking
somewhere else. I’m happy, but Mom can’t believe that
she forgot to bring conditioner, or that she slept so late.
The housekeeper at the discount hotel knocks. We’re still here,
we’re still here! she shouts back. Girls’ weekend, just us two,
and still we have to remind each other it’s okay to take our time.
No rush, we say to each other, firmly. I’m writing two poems
a day all summer: one every morning and again every night.
It is morning and my mom tells me, Write a poem about this,
but don’t mention I slept in so late! Just put down that your mother
is taking it easy, that your mother is taking her time for once! So I do
what she says, sort of. And the housekeeper knocks again.
But this time, my mother doesn’t jump. Instead, she leans back,
comfortable, and shouts: Still here, Still here! We are still here!
Copyright © 2018 by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz. This poem originally appeared in How to Love the Empty Air (Write Bloody Publishing, 2018). Reprinted with permission of the publisher.