The cold pieces of white continue to fall,
filling the pots on the balcony, covering the brown remains
of what was vine and green in the summer months.
Mother calls again, the demons dancing in her head.
Commercials carry secret messages and the christian
neighbor has moved away. A pagan now lives across the hall.
I tease, “Mother, I’m sure he’s a very nice pagan.”
Wrong move. Fast lash and verbal slap as only she knows how.
I bow, I bow out of the fight and say I’m sorry.
I hung up my boxing gloves years ago.
I’ve heard it said by some that people choose their parents
before they are born. Maybe the pain looks easy to deal with
from up there. Maybe I saw her when she was vine and green
and still untouched by disease.
I wonder if I looked down and saw a zig-zag trail,
a crazy path that was the only one that led
to the three small names of my children.