For the umpteenth time this mangled year
she asked me why I was crying

mama what’s wrong mama

the coffeepot was sputtering
vainly promising my restoration
on yet one more in a long line of mornings
too familiar to my desperations

what was I supposed to tell her
in a way she could possibly understand

how it will be so much more difficult
to persevere
because of a certain death last night

so I brushed away my tears
and with them her worries
told her I was all right
that kindest of all white lies

someone passed away dear
she meant an awful lot to me
someday I hope you learn about her

and put on my best and brightest smile
while the gnawing grew and grew

in here where I was thankful

she could not see.