A Final Petal

The family’s final ancestor
is beyond words
languishing for years
in her easy chair,
a captive season
that can not change.

She stares at the ads and catalogues
we give her, same page for hours
as if still shopping for deals
on bras or brooches,
or bargains on brisket: Look at this,
she used to say, $2.99 a pound,
that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Years ago, in her last vestiges of mind,
she wrote a little note to herself:
“Where is Sara?”
trying to follow the slow unselfing,
infinitesimal disappearances
as she wanders the trail
of her own departure.

Now in the silent living room,
cherished collections of glass slippers
and eggshell teacups retire unseen
next to family photos orphaned
by her emptiness.

Still, when her son leans over,
offers his cheek, so close,
she faintly purses her lips
the way haiku so briefly
kisses the divine

a final petal
released from the flower
lightly brushing his face.



All images, artwork and text © 2011 Louisa Loveridge Gallas

Web page design Dave Eitel