Picture of the Day
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August 8, 1999

A sunny morning, last night thunderstorms
dropped pinecones in Camelback Drive backyard.
"Mr. Wind" (as Mom puts it) moves shadows across
the diptych picture of David I brought yesterday.
The nurse says it won't be long--apnea and pale
nailbeds, when she passes don't call 911.

"This is my... meal," Mom says, catching herself,
she wanted to say "last" as I spooned the oatmeal
cut with grape jelly into her toothless mouth.
Then she sucked watermelon and spit the red flesh out.
What does it remind you of? I ask.
"The Warm Earth, sitting there, feeding the squirrels."

She's resting comfortably. I hope she goes in her sleep.
"Pleasant dreams," Margaret says to David every night at tuck-in
but in the morning he greets her with, "I didn't have any dreams."
So sad, my sister says, a sigh of sorrow. It's a beautiful day to die,
like the last day of a vacation plagued by rain,
the sun's come out and it's time to go.