10 Years

Sitting in a tub, behind the curtain,
with fingers lightly thumping porcelain:
after thirty-three hours of praying,
she came down from the ceiling.

It’s the big blue chair that my mother loved,
with upholstery maintained and bottom scuffs,
that followed me to Brooklyn.
Massive, it didn’t come apart in the middle
like lounges made after 1995.
Instead, sat cumbersome
inside the red van packed with stuff
on the trip from Boston.

I wish my mother could have had a death bed,
one where she lay day to night,
looking the part with historical novels,
yellowing the bright white doilies of the bed table.
With a diagnosis, we could have exercised hope.

I take the Q over the Manhattan Bridge
to see the Statue of Liberty walking with me.
And I’m just trying to make you proud.