Quality of Life
—for R. M.
by Claudia Gary
The day you met my mother
it was too late for her to understand.
The common area
contained antiques, piano, wedding gown,
whatever might enhance
old memories. Worn photos lined the hallways.
You offered her a hug.
You were about her age. She didn’t know
that you were there with me.
Some nurses backed away to give her room.
She said, “Oh, you are charming!”
and waltzed you onto the open elevator.
I’d never seen such grace:
In perfect synchrony you stepped and swayed,
steering her out again
to where the nurses waited anxiously.
You strode back to my side
and bowed to her, departing with her firstborn.
Copyright © 2014 by Claudia Gary.