My mother once dove into a pool
to save her drowning boy
and before that, at birth,
had him pulled
in the nick of time
from the rising well of blood
that flooded the womb.

Twice saved, many more times
patched up and sent back out
to do battle in the world.

She lies here at her last stop,
mute, gray-skinned, anxiously
tugging at the hem of her blanket,
my presence a disturbance,
a ripple in the still water
of her brackish brain.