Do You Know Why

by Peg Bresnahan

My niece Sandy phoned yesterday
to talk about concerns for Mom
whom I’ve known for seventy-six
years and Sandy’s in her thirties?

What did she mean by strict confidence?
Doesn’t she realize we’re aware
Mom’s ninety-nine with problems?
I mean, who wouldn’t have problems
living alone at that age?

Why does it drive Sandy to tears?
Mom doesn’t want to leave
Spring Lake Cottages to be
supervised, share a bathroom,
eat in the common dining room
at Rose House Assisted Living?

Does she expect me and my siblings
to swoop in like Mom’s worst nightmare
and carry her off to a place
without birds, squirrels, and trees?

Isn’t it better, as long as her mind
is sharp, she cooks, pushes her walker
from chair to stove to bed, to let her
choose her own route to the finish line?

Peg Bresnahan lives in Cedar Mountain, North Carolina, with her husband and two cats. Press 53 published her third book of poetry, Hunger To Share, in April.