Jan/Feb 2018 Poetry Special Feature

We Could Watch TV Like Always

by Christopher Smith

Textile Photo Art by Jeffrey Trespel

Textile Photo Art by Jeffrey Trespel

We Could Watch TV Like Always

In Loving Memory, Mom

I never thought about when you would vanish
because I'd hoped it would be at a more "appropriate" age—
Older, when I'd had more time to prepare for it,
Older, when you saw your hopes for us realized—
at 49, the unchecked cold you had at Christmas
couldn't have been a portent for what was to come.

You were always sick at the holidays.

We were watching TV, like always, and I made the offhand comment,
It's good that Hot in Cleveland is ending
before Betty White dies.
I watched you falling asleep on the couch,
and even though I knew it was your Fibromyalgia medication,
I thought,

You look so old.

Now, I'll be washing my hands in the bathroom at work
and without warning am struck by a childhood memory:
the time I had blood drawn and fainted on the sidewalk
on the way to the car; the sun behind you
as you held my head when I opened my eyes,
and now I wish

I had a sliver of a belief
in ghosts
so I could believe that you're near, or watching, or something
that would bring me comfort when I again become frozen
by the moments we can never have again,
moments I think of more now than I did when you were alive, wishing

We could watch TV like always.


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