As a child, I first learned the conceptwatching my mother’s face
fade from the school bus window, shrinking
like a pale moonflower
from the sky and sun.
I heard its definition voicedin those Grimm fairytales
where someone left, never
to be seen or heard from again
Yet, as a daughter, I neverexpected to map the phrase
on a long distance call . Tuesday night
we talked and you traveled
along the surreal, saying a strange door
had appeared near your bed.
And when you opened it,there was a girl offering
blue eggs and feathers
on a sterling tray. She motioned you
to follow and leave the room.
I asked if you were dreaming.You whispered, perhaps, not persuaded
by that logic And then, you relayed
you were tired and needed to rest.
The receiver hung-up, shadowed
by a ceiling fan in slow motion.
Yesterday, I called the nurses’ stationand asked to speak with you. They checked
but had awoken earlier. 7 a.m.
as a woman named Joy --worried about linen draperies
and the cost of remodeling her house.