My Mother’s Chest
I have a quarter and a penny, and the rest is in the grave, resting on my
Mother’s chest. It’s kept company by her salmon pearls and lacy blouse, and the
rustle of the insects stirring in her vacant heart.
Here’s what I didn’t know before she died: I didn’t know my soul was trapped,
held tight within her chest, lashed to the bow of her being.
As she took her last breath, I fainted.
When I woke, everything was different: my arms weighed a hundred pounds and my
legs a thousand. I rolled my eyes: they were as smooth as marble and just as
She was gone.
The coins are my insurance — a pickle jar of shiny dimes and nickels, brazen
pennies, weighing her down, just in case.