End Note by Winnie Star




I watched mother breathe
in death’s sleep
living in last thoughts

I imagined she drew on
memories of her long past husband
wishing her exit would hasten
so she could face him again

heave, sigh, sputter…

I envisioned her glimpses
of children
estranged by personality differences
and realities of strong will

puff, blow, cough…

I perceived her thoughts in end stage
must be of the many pets she raised
to be obedient creatures of the lap
and free souls to run the plains
off leashes to freedom

gasp, choke, gurgle…

I felt she must dream
of the many houses she
with nuances of the decades
our homes

rise, fall, breathe…

I hoped she’d have glimpses
of what she was
before a mother:
teacher of gym, swimming, hockey,

push, pull, struggle…

does she feel her body
ready to fly back to where it started
a mold of human flesh
ready to mesh
with the Gods of wonder?

would she wish
to turn off the machine
hasten the end note
join her master in angelic form
put it all behind now
to sleep?

the last breath came
in the early morning hours of
hospital doom

and we then buried
dear mother
next to
dear father

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