I follow, as she careens her cart
through Mauna Kea Mall, tossing in cracked cups,
mismatched sheets, biographies
of people no one remembers.

“Why must you rescue beltless bathrobes?”
I pant.
She fades suddenly,
and I’m  awake and sweating,
wondering who that was.

Might have been Aunt Margaret,
an artist, trying to arrange a new show,
sell a few paintings. “Please,” she calls.
“Just enough to pay for oils and brushes.”

Could  have been my mother in her plaid coat
looking for a lost handbag, stuffed with photos,
or my adopted Aunt Grace,
still alive, happily
stuffing herself with beignets and Netflix.

Definitely not
me with shoes in hand,
standing barefoot and cold in the hall.

Image credit:Jen Theodore

Trish Saunders lives in Seattle and Honolulu and, in her imagination, near Crater Lake, Oregon. Her poetry appears in The American Journal of Poetry, Califragile, Pacifica Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch Press, Seattle Poetry Bus, and other places. Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.