Days Like This

Days like this—
after a surgical procedure
routine for the surgeon
but not for you
when your belly is swollen and sore and
you’re moving slowly
slower than you have in years—
are good days to speak to your mom.
What other person
will let you vent
the exact way you need to?
What other person
opens an ear?
What other person
lends unfettered sympathy,
confetti that surrounds and comforts you
brings you peace, quiets the anxiety.
But Mom can’t do that anymore
and you’re not sure what she understands
and telling her of your pain, your discomfort
is as effective as spitting in the wind.
It helps for a minute
but the raw, burning reality still gnaws away
at your insides
leaving a gaping hole that used to be filled
by her words.
So instead of giving voice to the angst
you reach out your shoe
to her wandering hand
and she grabs it
tightly between her still-nimble fingers.
She shakes it
and makes eye contact
blinks twice and smiles.
And that will have to be enough.

Image of butterfly by mbll from Pixabay.

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