Poem: Thursday, June 2, 1988

By: Robert S. King

motherdying

Tonight I’ve come to watch my mother die
or someone they say is her,
who matches no photograph now,
who gropes like a child for her mother’s arms,
for the mercy of a God
who, like a cat, taunts and mauls her long
before he kills.

I wish I had a gun with silencer,
the strongest medicine.
She would give her life for it now,
but we all must endure the legal suffering.

She does not believe or does not hear
me whisper that she is going home.
She is too weak even to moan
in a maze of agony, but her mouth
opens roundly in silent screams,
seeking a way out or half a second numb.

Even sudden deaths are years in the making
before we leave the earth or it leaves us.
Yet in a flash when I look back at her,
she is gone somewhere, or is nowhere now.

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