Passing Along the News
But for a few minutes as they fussed
between her breasts that Tuesday morning
a few days before my birthday,
it looked like my mother would be fine.
Though her skin felt like a football,
the paramedics had found her heartbeat,
passed this news on to my father
who found me pacing in the hallway.
Then they waved him back, told him
no, it was just her pacemaker.
And that was something else
he had to come back and tell me.
I remember one of our last nights
when we shared a tub of cooling water
in a motel beside the ocean
and I read to you from Jarrell's story
about mermaids while you wept
and covered yourself with a towel.
But I also remember that we tried again
a couple nights later and this time,
you leaned against me
bare-breasted in the candle glow,
the ruddy dawn still distant
as the flight that took you home.
Michael Meyerhofer is the poetry editor of Atticus Review. His fifth book of poetry, Ragged Eden, was published by Glass Lyre Press.