Dirge

“My driver’s license expires this year, and so will I.”

My mother’s black observation chilled the air as I struggled to respond.

The doctor gave her nine-months which struck me as a macabre, reverse gestation.

I don’t remember what I said.

Perhaps a platitude, deflection? Or fierce rebuttal? Philosophical axiom?

I can’t remember.

But her words lodged in my mind, like a fly in molasses.

I haunted our home, a sleep-deprived zombie, not unlike a new mother. Night descended and with it, fresh fear and anxiety. The oxygen machine murmured meditations as my tea went cold.

I slept with her. Fought nocturnal monsters. Stood sentinel until dawn crept into crevices.

Finally, she slept. I washed her feet which felt symbolic.

Her last words … “Where are my shoes?”

“Where are you going?” I replied.

But I knew.

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