Toward the Light

Spaghetti sloshed in the colander,
the phone rang, Mom choked out
“Greatmama died this morning.”

I left my wide-eyed
children and husband at the table,
retreated to the garage, sank against
the black rubber of our minivan, prayed from
the depths of my salvation-damnation
obsession, “Oh God, let her in,”
and I heard you laugh.

Your voice an inner voice
again during my gallbladder attack.
Sliding down the bathroom wall, such pain
had to mean I’d be leaving Earth soon,
“I’m on my way, Greatmama!”
“No Baby, not tonight.”

Mom says I snore like you. It turns out
I have sleep apnea. You probably
had it too–just one of the chokeholds
that wearied your heart.
“You’re closer.”
“I know.” I strap on the mask and tube,
deep-sea dive into sleep.

My hourglass youth has morphed into
clock-shaped middle age.
My sister takes a telling photo,
“Dear God, I look like Greatmama.”
“Like Greatmama? Oh! but we LOVED her.”
That’s nice. And no offense, just…no girl
wants to look like her grandmother.
“Honey, it’s okay, you’re just getting closer.”

When I eat too much cheese and it won’t
pass through my body without a fuss,
I think of how you never touched
the stuff. “See?” I hear you say,

To the Woman in the Next Booth at the IV Therapy Center
City Solitude