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. Her poetry and short fiction are published or forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Califragile, Pacifica Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, Eunoia Review, Silver Birch Press, Seattle Poetry Bus, and other places. She's been nominated for Best of the Net (These Mountains Will Break Your Heart, If You Let Them), and the Pushcart Prize (Surly Modern Birds).Right Hand Pointing published her chapbook, "Last Note" in 2019.