Good Son

Written by: Soulfire

That summer your dad died 
and we brought your mom
to stay a few weeks 
‘til she moved to the nursing home 

we drove east to Saskatchewan
the huddles of family 
I’d never met 
softly recounting your father’s fading  
while Bessie washed dishes without a word 
and looked for something 
newly misplaced

Only you 
her fiftieth gift child
who’d strategically shirked 
corporate success 
could flick the switch of recognition  
her pleading eyes a conversation
translated in flesh

Back at home with a change of plan 
to live together 
as long as we could
with the front door swinging 
the kettle screaming 
dry on the stove 
and Bessie shuffling the winding road
in search of church or bingo

'Til leaning down to hug “goodnight” 
your eyes her open sky 
where every memory softly whispered 
Bessie back into the light