She lay snug within a brown, paperboard sarcophagus.
My precious Mom on her back, as if she were just napping for awhile.
An icicle of mucus hung, suspended from her nose,
just some drops of her life fluids trapped before they could evaporate,
locked inside a freezer, as her last movement seeped, and froze.
I longed to wipe it off, remembering how she had with tenderness
so often wiped my nose when I was small, to stop its running.
But here, her nose was stopped forever, stilled by one large stroke,
and now facing her frozen countenance, I could not do this simple task
as silently I wept...awaiting much worse yet to come.
On a raised platform, eye level, I stood by her until the end,
then I bent and kissed her precious hand, mumbling sad Godspeeds.
The coldness of it numbed me, and I knew then that she was truly gone.
"Oh, God!" I longed to talk to her one more time, just a few simple words of love and goodbyes denied but then the sound of furnaces igniting, shocked my soul and gave me pause, as she was slowly rolled away into that blazing maw.
Her box thumped once hard, mom was jostled, then smoothly it moved on, conveying all that I held dear, now lost to me, in vast degrees, vanishing quickly within minutes, was this life of worth consumed.
I turned from that most withering heat, and sadly left the room,
wishing for one minute more, that I might hold my mother close.
Strangely enough my wish was granted, when papers duly signed,
confirmed that she had been disposed, according to state laws.
The sheer cost of her death, uninsured, had left me little choice.
They handed me a squat black box, containing her cremains,
so little left, hard to believe...but on it was Mom's name.
I got to hold her one more time, so tight against my chest
As she once cradled me, so I cradled her within my arms,
and I could feel a warmth that permeated from within.
I closed my eyes, and thought of her sweet smile,
of her soft voice,and shed another tear for all that was,
and could have been.
At peace I turned to go, out to a bright and sunny day,
of a California world, and then back home so far away,
with a box of memories, turned to ash, that I treasured like gold.
We flew across the skies from heated climes, to winter's cold,
reversing what she'd been through, from death's chill, into the flames.
and now back a wintry grave.
November snows now blanket what remains...no longer warm,
and I have faced the fires, and ice, of life's most troubling storm.