“Remember, once, the rain poured down so fast—
that time you drove us all home from the beach—
you parked an hour beneath an overpass?
We gorged on cake, Aunt Mae peach after peach,”
I say. I place a cool cloth on Mom’s head
just as I did for her when I was ten.
An only child, I watch beside her bed.
She holds my hand and begs for death again.
“Maintain the graves. Get Perpetual Care.
I want plain pine like Dad’s; I’m not a queen.”
I nod. I ask her what she’d like to wear.
“My burgundy—,” she gestures, “—velveteen.”
I fetch her yogurt, Jello, ice-water.
At last I have become the Good Daughter.
Sandi Leibowitz is an elementary school librarian who performs folk, early, and classical music as well as writing fiction and verse, primarily speculative. Her poetry has won second- and third-place Dwarf Stars and been nominated for the Rhysling, Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net awards. Other work appears or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Verse-Virtual and Trouvaille Review. Her collections, Ghost Light (Alien Buddha Press 2020), Eurydice Sings (Flutter Press 2018) and The Bone-Joiner (Sycorax Press 2018), are available on Amazon or through her website, www.sandileibowitz.com. She lives in New York City.