Did it really happen?
Was that your mother
traipsing across the nursing room floor,
arms spread and flapping
like the wings of a dove?
Big band music on the radio?
It’s a mystery to you.
And you can’t believe
that she was ever that young.
She dyes her hair?
She lets it grow?
She takes her heart out of storage,
puts it up for bid?
That’s what listening to dead musicians
will do to a woman.
Her youth has somehow sought her out.
It joins her in the grooves.
No, her next move
is to flop into a chair
amidst the tut-tuts of some old biddies
who were never smooth and polished,
not even in their youth,
who wouldn’t know a foxtrot
from a fox-fur wrap.
Everything else is the same this visit.
Your mother still doesn’t know you.
But, at least for a moment or two,
she was somebody she knew.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Main Street Rag and Spoon River Poetry Review.