Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Please Close Her Mouth

I stroked her hair and
Kissed her brow,

The skin still soft, and,
If not warm, at least
Not quite cold either.

Her eyes were closed,
And wrinkled around
The closure.

The knobs of her knees
And toes of her poor
Misshapen feet
Tented the thin blanket.

A forgettable pattern was printed
On the hospital gown, and
I averted my eyes from where
A slit in the material
Showed one sunken breast.

Her mouth, unfortunately,
Was open,
As if frozen
In an unattractive posture
Of sleep.

But her hands were clasped
In a fittingly beatific pose.
The nurse had arranged them
After Mom had taken
Her last breath.

We wondered why
The nurse had not also
Closed her mouth.

Goodbye, dear Mom.