Pacific Review Editors
My mother passed a few years ago.
She’d made it to ninety-two,
Quite a time,
More than I expect myself.
Her presence occasionally wafts about, becomes apparent:
A tattered quilt in the back of a closet
A brown photo between two pages.
I used an old desk phone a while back when my cell phone died.
The old phone had an answering machine in it.
I plugged it in and the message light began to flash. The notes of a past sounded in the room:
Two wrong numbers
And then there she was, clear, present, alive.
I held my breath: she said the weather was too hot and nobody had called her all day.
Last night I lifted a plate from my cupboard,
An old teacup saucer that I used as a remnant, a mismatch,
the last of a set whose other members had long ago vanished.
Made of bone china with a light gold inlay, roses painted across the borders.
The last of my mother’s tea set.
The plate slipped from my hand, shattered on the counter, plummeted to the floor.
I stood, stared, gathered the sight:
One more last remnant of her splintered, fractured, gone.