Sometimes she's Confucian-- resolute in privation. . . . Each day, more immobile, hip not mending, legs swollen; still she carries her grief with a hard steadiness. Twelve years uncompanioned, there's no point longing for what can't return. This morning, she tells me, she found a robin hunched in the damp dirt by the blossoming white azalea. Still there at noon-- she went out in the yard with her 4-pronged metal cane-- it appeared to be dying. Tonight, when she looked again, the bird had disappeared and in its place, under the bush, was a tiny egg-- "Beautiful robin's-egg blue"-- she carried carefully indoors. "Are you keeping it warm?" I ask--what am I thinking?-- And she: "Gail, I don't want a bird, I want a blue egg."
I say to the named granite stone, to the brown grass,
to the dead chrysanthemums, Mother, I still have a
body, what else could receive my mind’s transmissions,
its dots and dashes of pain? I expect and get no answer,
no loamy scent of her coral geraniums. She who is now
immaterial, for better or worse, no longer needs to speak
for me to hear, as in a continuous loop, classic messages
of wisdom, love and fury. MAKE! DO! a note on our fridge
commanded. Here I am making, unmaking, doing, undoing.