My mother
waited up late for me
early Sunday mornings
chain-smoking cigarettes
off the pilot light,

her gas flame-blue shadow
cast across the kitchen
as I came up the back stairs
from the porch;

All the other rooms

Cigarettes burned,
all the other rooms
tossed and turned.

never felt
so good.



     In memory of my mother, Pauline-
     January 30, 1944 – March 6, 2019