(Ana Silva / Unsplash)

On the night my mother died,
El Niño drifting like a mist above
Our street with fine silk light billowing
Out, beckoning to the winter
Darkness. One moment there was
Nothing, only dry aspen leaves
Quivering and thin clouds
Floating like tears over the sky. In the next,
My mother was looking at me for the last
Time—her eyes as gray blue 
As rain. Her breath coming in little
Gasps fluttered among the leaves of the euonymus bush.
Then the soft face of El Niño called 
Her, and she turned to follow Him leaving us behind
Like pebbles in the moonlight.
When she was gone, I looked for her.
I continually look for her. This was her last act of love. 

Diane Scharper is the author of Radiant: Prayer/Poems (Cathedral Foundation Press).

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Published in the April 2021 issue: View Contents
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