How beautiful the dying.
My mother on her death bed
had become a little girl again.
She lay on her side with her legs curled up,
the blanket almost flat
as if her body had already turned to memory.
I stroked her temple. Her hair
had become silver corn silk,
her skin soft beneath my fingers.
Her expression was relaxed and limpid
no longer bearing the furrows of dementia.
I just kept whispering to her
“thank you, thank you, thank you”,
both to her and to the angels
waiting at the foot of her bed.
She had become beautiful, innocent, transparent by degrees-
and then she slipped away.