Or how you died in the hospital despite
your wish to remain home.
We mean to speak our truth in the kindest way,
the way I meant to tell you how my life ached.
But a mother shouldn’t have to know
how many of her daughter’s windows are broken.
The way you meant to tell me how my body, anyway it was,
was just fine, and anyhow it loved.
How for-better-or-for-worse so often proves untrue in any language.
There’s no simple u-turn back, so we veer off the forward paths.
Wisdom cannot promise it will know how to guide us
unless it answers us with questions.
I couldn’t stop myself from looking at the answer to the puzzle
at the back of the paper, just to make sure I was right.
I was wrong.
But who can blame us for trying, each and every time?
Take the cake, for example. When you have to make the shape
of five and one with thirteen candles, since you don’t have fifty-one.
Sarah B Sullivan