It has been ten days
since I left this house
my mother – asleep –
her oxygen machine with its
serpentine green hose
pulsing air and life
into her dying lungs.

Before I left – Before she left
I followed the hose
the leash to her life
across the white-tile floor and
the hand-woven Turkish rug
to where it disappeared under
her bedroom door.

Quietly opening the door
just enough to see her sleeping –
her short, labored, but peaceful breaths
at half-beats to the machine’s thumping cadence
of her life.

I knew I’d need to return
but not this soon
not with her gone.

I stand on the Turkish rug
machine and curled hose since removed
and realize
the silence of the house –
void of its breathing
empty of its sounds
unoccupied by the modulation of
machine and heart

I am uncomfortable without its
(which means her) presence.

I wander the house, my footsteps
on the tile floor do little
to match the missing beats of life
in my mother’s house.


~I was far from the perfect son, but she was a damn, fine mother ~