She smiles, but those around her frown
and when she asks a question
the creases in their foreheads deepen.
She talks of home and the life she once knew
as if it were yesterday,
and if we didn't know better,
we would be convinced.
She wants to know how the children are,
so we say they are happy and growing.
Then her small talk comes:
"They have birds like that at Mona's."
"My work is unfulfilling."
"LaSalle Peru is really a growing city,
don't you think?"
Then she speaks of how she should have put
her little one down for a nap.
As those in the room around her
exchange their glances, but wish to exchange the situation,
they realize she is tired and needs her rest.
So, kisses and hugs are shared as we speak
Concretely of places we will go,
because if we don't, she will ask to come with us.
And we turn, walk down the hall, feeling a bit callous,
and enter the code that keeps our loved one "secure."
Goodbye Mom, see you next time.