My mother has gone Home, some
would say. No; her travels are ended.
She wanted to die in her own small brick
house and not in a garish hospital.
A registered nurse, she knew better
than to be played offstage by hissing machinery.
Despite her wishes, her 85 year-long
course was mapped from obstetrics to ER.
A judgmental woman, our lives
together were full of argument.
A religious woman, she feared
I would regret my atheism.
A loving woman, she cared for,
and buried, two husbands.
These black letters, this white page
cannot hold any of her laughter,
her shouts, her angers, her sadness,
her joy, and painful tears will not recover
a single instant of her long life. Finally,
we take our secrets with us when we go.
Alone, my mother has either met her god,
or suffered a simple mechanical failure.
She alone knows, or knows nothing.
Keith Welch lives in Bloomington, Indiana where he works at the Indiana University Herman B Wells library. He has no MFA. He has poems published in The Tipton Poetry Journal, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, Dime Show Review, and Literary Orphans, among others. He enjoys complicated board games, baking, talking to his cat, Alice C. Toklas, and meeting other poets. His website is keithwelchpoetry.com. On Twitter: @TheBloomington1.