Deborah Dashow Ruth
(For my mother)
I'm trying to move her slowly through
the tangle of uncertainties.
Around and above us dark shapes swarm,
eager to pick off stragglers.
I open a path for her through brambles,
past gopher holes, fallen branches
while she lags farther behind, and I must
unwind my steps back to where she rests.
I don't report what I see up ahead:
the crumbling trail, the craggy edge,
no way of knowing how many before
have stumbled, plummeted over.
As we go I point out flashes
of bright colors, the polished sunset,
hoping to make the trek more pleasant.
On my face, the hot, honeyed air.