Dead Yet?

“Is your mom dead yet?”
he demands, angry.
“Is your mom dead?”
His five-year-old face frowns.
His grandmother. He loves her.

“It’s time for her to die,”
he says sagely
his hand, palm up,
gestures to the sky.

We strike up a conversation
with a grandma at the grocery store.
She checks out.
He looks after.
“Why is everyone leaving?”

“She is very old. It’s time
for her to die,”  he says
to the ceiling
as we lie side by side.

“Is your mother dead?
Is she dead yet?”
close to pleading.
My mom. Not his grandma.

“But where is she going?”
Don’t know. Don’t know.
Only that she is leaving.

“I won’t die.
I’ll NEVER die.”

“Is she dead yet?
Is she dead?”

— gail ford

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