When I was a child, after my mother went out
I slipped into her oversized fur, conferring on myself
animal powers before I understood their rights.
Now I cocoon against harm—
as if enveloped by my overprotective mother,
who disappeared overnight.

Despite worldwide evidence,
no guidelines surfaced for continuing care.
She was killed by Covid.
I couldn’t be there.
Later, I couldn’t collect her personal effects—
clothes and paintings left hanging.

I hope the aide—
who called my mom her fave
and held her hand on one
of her last days—
was able to claim the still life
by my mother that she coveted.

I decline invites
from sympathetic friends
for safe-distance walks,
not trusting them any more
than I trust myself,
knowing it’s easy to blunder.

Take those talks on walks
with my husband—
when we stroll outside;
as we speak, I revert
to a childhood tendency,
and keep swerving into him.

Laura Glenn