Sholom Nursing Home , for Kathy
Tonight she asks you to sleep
with her. both of you in the bed
with siderails, a plastic mattress pad
below. She is so happy
to have found you, her daughter
from the old house she loved.
And you are torn between her
and the world of things
you never finish, duty calling always.
Between you is the tunnel back
to childhood, where your 95-year-old mother
is young again, wanting nothing now
but to touch your cheek, stroke your hair,
claim you as her own.