Mom weighed next to nothing as she lay dying; the hospital bed displaying the decreasing
Pounds like a stopwatch ticking off seconds. I couldn’t take my eyes off the digital
Readout, like maybe if I concentrated hard enough the numbers would reverse themselves.
One twenty seven would read one seventy two and the cancer cells would be rubbed out like
Misspelled words on a fourth grade composition. Little pink eraser dregs lingering,
To be brushed away by pudgy fingers. The marks still visible, but inconsequential. A week
After she died I dialed her number to relay a student’s amusing comment about
The complexity of simple machines, but realized after the third ring that I’d lost her forever.
I could not concentrate enough or erase fast enough to bring her back, to hear her voice.