Ghosts hanging on the trees outside
heads impaled on mailboxes.
I slept on the pull-out sofa while my mother cleaned upstairs.
I heard furniture dragging on the floor,
so I checked on her in case she was moving a chair
underneath a ceiling beam in the living room.
Realize how much nursing homes
smelt so much like my own.
Wet leaves & stale wood,
the walls lined with both.
When I think of these things
I breathe out chlorine
as if mom had stepped off,
& in her last pendulum moment
found swaying moved her nowhere.
*this is the first in a five-day series of poems The Opiate is publishing by Scott Sherman.