One More For The Road

There’s no beeping like there would normally be in a hospital

Just her shallow breath

As the respirator helps her

She can’t pee on her own

Her cheeks are shallow, just like her breath

Blink once if you can hear me

If he was here

He’d be yelling all over the place

Nothing would be good enough for her

The transfer to the new hospital center would NOT be acceptable

She would need her own room, and not share it with two other people dying


I was in denial


We are strong

Us Claire’s always were


So it is obvious that she was going to make it through this


By the tenth day


It is obvious that I am not going to make it through this


Uncontrollable tears

Gasping, not being able to let go

Of my mom


Snot covering her

Luckily mother had on a gown


I did not want to let go of her hands

Hands that always comforted me

Or accidentally pulled down my pants when I did something wrong


Or slap-tapped me when I said something inappropriate


She needed a good shave


He had always done that for her


Only in the last ten years of her life though


Stubbly, dark, course, was her chin


Little hairs shooting out, not matching the hair on her head, or her arms


One hand wrapped around a teddy bear


The mixed teddy bear, the shared teddy bear


Little pieces from different parts of the family


The Yankee shirt from my mom


The teddy bear from my sister


Something borrowed, something spent


But she loves the Yankees


One more picture to hold the memory


But we won’t hear her laugh

When we shout that as we take the picture


She was always the first one to do everything, right?

Strong, letting me take one of my grandfather’s precious lollipops from the freezer


And giving herself the blame


To face the repercussions, the wrath of my grandfather


The one that zoomed up the hill

With its many bumps and rocks, to pick up my mom from work


That ended in flat tires and calling triple A during a huge storm, but at least we made it to the bank

She was valedictorian of her night classes


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