The clock started in August.
Doc said six months.
She was the handler. Sicilian.
Most of her hair still black.
Fifty-nine and on her way
out. Cancer: colon, liver, lung.
Peeled oranges with a paring knife.
Our fingers would pinch a slice
before her tip could bite.
La prossima volta (Next time).
Winter sound is blue and bell
sudden. Shadows are knife blades.
I was her nurse, butt wiper and cook.
Still strong enough to hurl a bowl
of parsnips at me-she disagreed
with the size of my chop. Drowning,
my sisters flew in. After New Year
we wheeled her around the block.
January sun carved her cheeks. Mom
never honed a blade to sheath it.