SHINY DIMES AND CARDINALS
My mother –
before her final years
of lunches with dead husbands
and visits with a granddaughter
who was not there –
promised she would try
to let us know what lay beyond.
And she did try, after she died.
I found shiny dimes in odd places
and two bright red cardinals –
the husbands she loved
without the unworthy third –
pursued her back-and-forth
across my lawn that entire first spring,
flattering her immensely in the chase.
But she grew weary of parlor tricks,
I suppose, or joined a book group
and made new friends,
for the dimes have disappeared
and the cardinals I see now
are not as bright or amorous
as the birds I saw then.
But I am not abandoned.
My mother still visits when I write –
suggesting a word here or an idea there –
to let me know she’s well.
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