Leavings

My poem “Leavings” was just published by Silver Birch Press. I’ll post the poem here, as well as a link to the Silver Birch site. On the site, I tell a little bit about writing the poem.

Leavings

Leavings are untidy. Remembering
what you want to say as the car pulls away,
or the cell phone drops into your purse,
restraint in an embrace, the casual

see ya, when you ache for more.
There was that time my mother died—
a stiff, proud woman who did not touch.
She lay in bed, while her brothers and I

hovered. We asked if she needed a blanket,
if she wanted music, if she were hungry,
thirsty. At each offering, she jerked her head
from side to side, tight-lipped, angry.

Then the young, Hispanic hospice aide reached
out and took her hand. She knew what leavings
needed, what my mother couldn’t bring herself
to ask for, what we didn’t understand to give.

My mother sighed and held that gentle,
reassuring hand. The aide leaned in, caressed
a wisp of hair on her forehead. My mother smiled,
and took her last breaths.

20 thoughts on “Leavings

  1. this is absolutely beautiful, Sarah. I went over to silver birch, and read the backstory. it is often so hard to know what to do, but she had a beautiful goodbye.

    Like

      1. Just trying to cope- one day at a time! Barely writing and yes, not doing submissions at all either! Has your second book been published? Am sorry, have not been following poetry news and blogs very well since the lockdown started.

        Liked by 1 person

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