how can I tell him that every day I see her
smiling in her coral blouse, her matching lipstick, and her sunglasses,
sitting alfresco at our favorite Milwaukee cafe
while she orders her usual grilled cheese with avocado and tomato
and a side of pilaf she always wants
me to share and I say, That’s OK, Mom, thanks,
my garden salad is enough, which I can’t wait to finish
so that we may receive what she and I really came for,
what we have come here for every summer for so long
I can’t tell you when it began, and here comes our waitress,
balancing two plates of blueberry pie, plump and crustless,
and they look like sapphires glistening in sun
beside hills of newly whipped cream, glory of the season,
of the light that does not die, of my beautiful summer mother.

This poem originally appeared with a different title in the author’s collection Arrows of Light (Iris Press, 2017).