On her final day as your babysitter,
Clotine took it upon herself to transform
our first apartment’s few appliances.

I remember as though I were standing
at that sink two decades ago, how she made
the faucet gleam and the stove shine.

Yesterday you discovered a pushbroom,
swept the garage, organized its contents,
and repurposed items I never knew we owned.

You bend your six-foot frame to inspect
the buds and shoots you coax out of our yard.
Each day you water and weed and admire.

You charm your cat, that fur ball
who snores softly on your chest,
with a selection of kibbles and catnip.

After Sunday dinner, you surprise us
with a zoom call with your sister, witness
to your birth twenty-four years ago.

As a present, you recite a favorite poem
by heart. Bring cookies back from the store.
Compliment me on a well-balanced meal.

You say you’re proud of me. Rightly so,
your sister once warned me against flattery.
I have been rendered to a beautiful shine.