Susan Eyre Coppock

Telling Time

A glimpse of Mother
on one of her jaunts—
pith helmet wobbly
on her bobbling head,
me driving the wheelchair
towards Carl Shurz Park,
Mother’s thin voice
scaling up and down—
a woman whose time
is close.
Shortly after,
her body,
covered by a white sheet,
removed from the apartment,
as if she had been nameless
and not who she was.
Next day the metal
vials and canisters
went out the door.
Then Dad’s long sigh,
his grey mustache curving
into a brave smile
urging me to start again
which I did in good time,
bargaining with myself—
You can take the bus today
or buy The Times
but not both.
Someday I’ll afford the two
I promised myself,
me the drill bit boring
into the future,
that wobbly pith helmet,
that scaling voice
always present.