Active, warm, and chatty.
She's Mom's walking partner up
and through the silent neighborhood
and along the rocks that
border the foaming, crashing lake.
My cousins and I swerve all
through the path to the playground,
and they keep up with our pace.
Piano, music, and melody.
Gliding hands and fingers travel
up and down the colorless keys.
She doesn't speak; no amount
of questions could make her. But
her hands summon the notes when
she sits on the piano stool—everything
comes flooding back from memory.
Her glassy eyes give empty stares and
wrinkled lips release breathy noises—
she's been bedridden for four months or
five, and Mom takes her hand, enveloping
her paper-thin, age-spotted skin.
Those eyes are windows to an
empty house—no sign of recollection.
So I keep my distance and
decide to stay silent.