Yesterday I fed my mother applesauce.
She smiled but she didn’t eat. Today
she lies dying in my arms, frail as a fawn.

I want my young mother who cradled me,
braided my hair, played four hands on the
piano. I want my young mother who
embarrassed me teaching square dancing
at my middle school. I want her to come
again to my graduation and tell everyone
I was first in our family to go to college.
I want her to sit in the front row at my concerts.
I want her to meet her granddaughter and sit
in the front row at her piano recitals.

I shout these things
in my car
in the shower
in my bed

I want, I want, I want

I tell my daughter, when I’m dying,
please feed me applesauce.

Jean Fineberg