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It's been almost nineteen years since she died
in her on-loan hospital bed
that sat in our living room, her room,
once we knew, instinctively, that she would be leaving us soon.
We never said it out loud though, not ever.
It was too much to bear, as young as we were,
and none of the adults had the heart, or the guts, to say the words
"Your mother is dying. Get ready."

She's there every time I pick up a pen,
flushed with words, in the motion of my hands,
in the thoughts that move them.
She has a seat on every level of my mind.
She breathes through every flash of anger,
every swimming of tears.
She is like a character remembered, a ghost, my own
as if she's just in the other room,
by a window or a chair,
loving me,
but unavailable for interview.

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