when my mother first went crazy
she accused my father of stealing the ocean
and hiding it from her, just
to be cruel and mean. We were living
at the time, and I can still remember the look
on his face
as my father tried to defend himself
from her useless accusations.
for two more years, we sat through
days when my mother wouldn’t get up
or those that when she did, she’d spend entirely
in the tub. “The Atlantic
feels like this,” she’d tell me, urging me
to dip my fingers into lukewarm water. “Soft.
somehow she got better
all on her own, and in the meantime
I learned how to cook for both
my little sister and me.
And then one day
we woke up
and there was breakfast on the table
the laundry was done
and my mother was awake, out of bed,
ready to step out into the snow
and walk us to school.
just like that.