I have a new mantra.
I say the word “yes,” over and over, out loud, or to myself. Every time I say it I feel I am setting sail on a small sailboat. I draw my finger
in the water. The water is warm and glittering in the sun.
The past can sort itself out, without me.
I allow the feelings.
I sat up on the edge of the bed.
I was seeing my mother, at that Greek diner in Herald Square, the last day– I see her face, as she ponders whether to buy pants. “I don’t
need them, really,” she said. This was true. But when we had something to shop for, we could distract ourselves. It was some kind of
prayer. A tiny hope. Like the spark wheels they had in Central Park, that made you believe in the “it” that we all carried together, never
She died the next day.
Thinking he was asleep, I tried to freeze my grief, rising raw, in my neck, eyes, flooding my walls
of time, acceptance, numbness.
I ached for her. Put my hand over my mouth and whispered, “Mom.”
“Come here,” he said softly.
I cried into his neck, coughed and shook.
He cradled my head. He said nothing.
I wanted to stay there forever.