Memaw feels like rain’s coming.
She says it’s in her bones–the rain,
her arthritis knows it, and I know it
like I know my nephew
and how he will cough all spring,
lungdusted with pollen in his hair.
My body tells me to slow down,
to only sleep in bursts,
to smoke and hold water–
after surgery, my damaged leg is prow
and broken rudder
(one doctor called it a mud puddle).
Later, my mom, laid up in her own hospital bed,
couldn’t remember much. But she looked at me,
out of breath from carrying in food, and says
“Honey, I worry about you.”