Lisa Zaran

My Mother Beside Me, Grinning

In P.V., short for Prescott Valley
or Pee-Vee, my mother lives

in a single wide trailer with her pets
and nobody else.

Pee-Vee, a pencil dot, barely staining
the map, a half hour's drive up
highway 69 from the Interstate.

A rock-a-billy sort of place,
a pit stop really, rather than a destination.
A pine tree filled space that clings
to hillsides and settles in valley's, both.

My mother, a retired nurse, offers me
something to drink, like juice.
I tell her to sit, I'll get it.

I'm here to offer support.  To drive
her home from the hospital after she
undergoes a cardio-conversion.

She is having her heart shocked back
into a normal sinus rhythm.  It has been
under beating, overworking for a week.

Outside, frost clings to the undersides
of trees and to the lawn's yellow belly.
My mother doesn't act nervous at all.

She doesn't have to, I know she is.
Instead, she makes jokes.  Grows restless.
Won't sit still.  Or can't.

"Just think,"  I think to say to her now,
"in a few hours this will all be over."
Hoping it helps.

Walking from the front door to my car,
my mother beside me grinning, the crisp
winter air cuts like glass.  The sky
is a ceiling of cold, hard steel.

Lisa Zaran is a poet/essayist living in Arizona.  Some of her recent work can be found or is upcoming in Lily, Verse Libre Quarterly, Snow Monkey, Erosha, 3rd Muse, SubtleTea, Ink Mag, Snakeskin, and Stick Your Neck Out. Her first full length poetry collection, "the sometimes girl," was recently accepted for publication. 



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