Mama didn't seem to be in any pain,
but she hadn't spoken in a couple of days,
and her eyes no longer reacted to light.

the hospice nurses
were compassionate but frank
with their dire forecast:
October's flower was fading fast.
they said it could happen any time now;
it might be a day, or it might be a week.
that was Tuesday night.

on Wednesday,
disquieting thoughts darted
through my mind all day,
like insects furtively scurrying
across the kitchen floor;
intruders almost imperceptible
as they raced past.
"Beware the Ides of March,"
a faint little voice cried out.

early the next morning, the phone rang,
bringing the news from Cumberland:
Mother passed away at 6:00 AM
eastern standard time.

outside, the wind blew fiercely,
a lion's roar that assailed
the solemn silence
that such a moment
would seem to demand.

inside, a strong man crumbled,
then disappeared; in his place
was a scared and lonely child
who cried, knowing that he would
never see his mother again.

(c) 2001 by Metta Jon Maslow (3-15-2001)

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