Bundle of White Flowers

Every time I see a bundle of white flowers
I think of my mom on hospital bedsheets
borrowing her last lungs of air. Before
passing it on, sharing it with the rest of us
as a cooling wind makes her way through
bamboo. My sisters and brother sat
arrayed in a semicircle, waiting all night for
her to die. I had to leave. Why was I in such
a rush? My mom was unconscious as
I leaned in and whispered, “See ya later,”
a nervous laugh caught a wave around the
room and I left and it was such a hot June
evening outside. My mother was so small
and frail, shrinking as the hours crawled
into closets. Yesterday my heart stopped
and started and stopped for a few beats.
I stood there with no heartbeat and it was
kind of annoying because I was busy and
had work to do and I asked mom if she had
lent me some air from Mount Fuji, if she
could squeeze her hand around this
reluctant thing in my ribs or send an errant
spark from New Jersey, whatever the
burning did not consume.

Roy Word Smith. Lives in Bucks county, loves to visit Philadelphia every chance he gets. He finds poems and stories growing out of sidewalk cracks and purring cats. He doesn’t have much education but like Einstein, feels imagination is more important than knowledge.