Standing in the ladies’ room line,
in the temple basement, the woman in front of me
said, “I’ve been sitting behind you, admiring
your hair.” “Thank you! White for Rosh
Hashanah!” I say, and then, “It was
a gift from my mother.” I love to say
my mother to someone I imagine as a normal
person—though who knows. And I love
to see cut flowers age—we are cut
flowers, when they sever the cord, we begin
our dying. She lived to be eighty-five,
I needed every hour of it.
Each time I made her laugh on the phone,
that warm gurgle—and she couldn’t reach out with her
long curved polished nails, to stroke me—
we were making something together, like a
girl-made mountain stream among
Sierra onion, and lupine, stonecrop
and leopard lily. And especially