Four weeks
A beautiful newspaper article

Uncomplicated bereavement

At the doctor's office
a questionnaire
about sadness.

I answer honestly, then
backpedal: my mother died.
This is just grief.

Later a friend gives me
the medical billing lingo:
"uncomplicated bereavement."

I almost laugh. Find me
a daughter mourning her mother
without complication.

I think of the photo
on your bathroom mirror
from what you called

the best days:
"when Dad was thin, and we
were rich, and Rachel was easy."

For years I was convinced
you wanted a different daughter,
one who stayed

in Texas, pledged
the right sorority,
married up.

We got better
at being mother
and daughter by the end.

But I hate the fear
you might have thought
I wanted a mom who wasn't you.

 

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