by Rita Budrionis
On my knees, I pulled up her socks
Socks she hated
Socks she couldn’t grasp
Dirty beige with rubber tracks like crushed cereal on the sole.
She would have hated that
if she’d known they were socks.
She complained in phrases without verbs.
Birds spoke her native tongue.
Outside! To me!
I laughed at the joke that wasn’t
because she did.
Arm in arm
we walked in her horror.
She became both more and less of who she had been.
She walks toward me in dreams now
silver stockings, starburst slippers
Gaily toasting with her wine glass or
sitting quietly by my side
As I remember her.
But I’m not there yet,