Ancestors, Coming of Age, Homecoming, Loss, Mother-Daughter, of Mother, Parenting, Poetry, WRITING

The Elevator

by Kelly Salasin

in memory of my mother & friend, Bonnie Kelly Bradley, Christmas Day 1942 to September 8, 2000

Now that This
is done
She’ll die…

Leaning against the
toilet, Crouched
in a Puddle
of  blood
Wrapped
in bath towels
Cold,
even though
it is Warm-
August

He breathes
against me
the Two of us
Come through
a Storm
Neither particularly
loving the other, Collapsed
into this new
expression
of Separation

I have never Known
my Body like
This before
that Something
the size
of a Cantaloupe
could Push through
Me
like a Train
Reconfiguring my
Everything!
in an
Instance

I’d take that
Elevator with him
to summer’s End
1957
on the Curb
of a boarded up Motel
A covert block
from the cross-shaped
high school
my mother and I both attended,
two decades spanning
Our sophomore years

I’d find Her
there
in knee socks, buckled shoes
straight barreted brunette hair
shin-length pinafore snug
across emerging breasts
Heaving a sigh
of Relief
That I wasn’t
a Nun come upon her As
she takes the First
drag
of her First
cigarette till  the
End
of her Life…

Shrouded
in her exhale
we  Lock
eye to eye
and with babe in arms, I plead

PLEASE, Don’t.”

Because some
day you’ll be
My mother
and he’ll
be Your grandson,
and Together we’ll
Watch
you
Die.”

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