Eventually, I grab the back-door key
from the cup-holder, slip a folded list
into my pocket. Inside, I dig through closets
to find the lincoln logs, the cardinal statue,
the clock shaped like an elephant, a kettle—
but the whole time I half expect to hear her:
the careful shuffle of her slow, flat feet;
her walker’s unpredictable clap; her voice
trembling with evangelical vibrato.
Beside the bed, I find a King James Bible,
her careful marginalia penciled in:
Glory! Glory! Amen! I set it down.
I shouldn’t want it just because it’s hers.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 28 Number 7, on page 27
Copyright © 2023 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com