by Jude Deason
Mother’s room is the first door on the leftpast the glass wall of locked double doorspainted with tree trunks and a pumpkin.On the half of the room not assigned to Mother,my older sister watches from the made-up bed,her husband on her right, her Chihuahuacurled in, asleep, on her left. “Look Mother,”my sister says. Out the window,two birdhouses hang from poles by a tree.Mother’s contusions are healing.Her new wheelchair reclines, thoughher head falls, chin down,but still I see herin the kitchen of the house on Grand Avenue,sobbing by the phone at the back doorof the house Dad built on Latham Streeton the day he fell off the moving truckand landed on his head on the highwaytrying to rescue a flying card table.I feed her mashed potatoes with pureed gravy, pureed Salisbury steak. Her roommate, Betty,wanders the hall,her red purse on her arm.