Mudlark No. 56 (2015)

As If Our Love Could

It’s true, we did feel like that—we who sat by her on the bed or stood near. O.K., Mom, we’ve seen you through—those breaths drawn in, held so long, let out—we’ve dived with you, swum at your side, buoyed you, held your hands, your cold feet, said words so faint our own mouths kept them. No more of this, now: sit up, scan the room, see that we’re all here, put on that robe, walk out to where the stove’s warm—salt that roast beef, we’ll break out the wine...

But she went more cold—the years fled from her face, no storm, no snow, each crease reeled back past the scene that caused it, and we had hope—as if all of us could peel back our own pain, be made new.

No. When they came for her, wrapped her in the sheet, her head stayed propped—the air itself held it—and we led them through the hall and down the stairs and to the car and that was all.

Gerald Fleming | The Whole Man
Contents | Mudlark No. 56 (2015)