It was a relief to drive away,
leave the weight of her
to the day nurse
whose broad hands could lift,
clean, and dress her.
Soon, I will call you to sit in silence,
both of us losing a role as daughter.
Later I will make a chair of my body
stiff, expectant for her restless flesh,
which had become an empty cage.
Anytime now, the day nurse keeps saying.
She’s seen so many imminent deaths.
She won’t be there and probably never is
when that door swings open.
The inevitable tug
between wanting the suffering to stop
only to find more suffering as
grief is the same as fear—
Daughters holding an umbilical cord
left like a fossil of escape,
saved for years in layers of freezer ice
growing thicker each time the air hits it.