In the afternoons, after the nurse has left and his errands are run,
he perches at the foot of her bed pretending to read,
staring at his book, alert for her movement.
There he sits most days until the light leaves the bedroom windows,
rising only for essentials.
No matter how stealthily he moves,
my mother stirs, calling his name.
“It’s alright, Cathy.” comes his tender response.
“Just so I know you’re there, James,” she says, rasping,
before returning to her solo crossing.
“Poetry is my church. Without it I wouldn’t have navigated my life nearly as well.”
Tricia McCallum, a Glasgow-born Canadian, is a Huffington Post Blogger, a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of The Music of Leaving (Demeter Press 2014). She has won the poetry competition at goodreads.com a total of three times. McCallum says she publishes both online and off, wherever she can find good homes.
“My approach is simple. I tell stories in my poems and write the poems I want to read,” she says.