Thursday 8 July 2021

On Bringing My Mother Socks

by Jamie Fleming

I’m forgetting to do something.
I dig through the piles of yarn
that lie under my mother’s clothes rack,
looking for socks the hospital can’t provide.

Two years ago – maybe three, maybe four,
my mother had the idea         
to bury my grandmother in socks,
so her feet don’t get cold.

I throw Stephen King’s latest
in mom’s medicine bag.
I know she won’t read it, despite trying.
The plots are all the same.
I can’t focus.

I drive to the hospital with the socks in my lap.
The doctors sent her to the ER, my dad explains,
chest pains, blood pressure, the regular, “no big.”

One year ago – maybe two, maybe three,
my grandmother landed in the bathtub
after her heart attack,
slipped because she wasn’t wearing socks,
found by a neighbor who talked to her thirty minutes prior.

“I’m forgetting to do something,”
I tell my mother,
eyes tracing the chairs, the television, the magazines.
“Don’t worry,”
she bends the corner of her crossword, 
looks at me, unusually small in her thin gown, 
“We won’t remember this next year.”

* * * * *

Jamie Fleming is a recently-graduated Tennessean poet and a former editor of Novus Literary Arts Journal. Through her poetry, Jamie strives to capture her childhood and family, revealing both the beauty and suffering within Southern, working-class culture.

1 comment: