for Miriam, my mother 1915 – 1954


It was expected,
her dying.


Father asked the Navy
for a loan, a dead horse,
to buy the coffin
Grandma favored
for her youngest.


His docked pay stub
grieved with him all year.


Townspeople filed by,
heads bowed
in the winter drab of mourning.


Before the lid was closed,
Grandma came out
to the hall, ran her knuckle
down my cheek:
You’ll want to come
and kiss your Mother goodbye.


I stood behind
the overflowing coat-rack,
traced raindrops
as they stuttered
down the sidelight,
watched my kiss
thrown back through
the narrow window pane.

Patricia Budd

Patricia Budd is a retired computer engineer now in her 80th year. Math is her alternate language. She writes, paints and is a Reiki master and an ordained chief troublemaker. She lives in Portland, Maine with husband Richard, a theoretical physicist and bridge player. They have two sons and three grandchildren. She won the Balticon 42 Poetry Contest in 2008 and has been published in MARGIE, MacGuffin, Alehouse among other journals and Web sites.