What I’m Not Thinking About

I lean close to the mirror beneath fluorescent lights
and wish I hadn’t given myself a clear view
of every wrinkle and pore,
age that doesn’t show up in photos
taken of tanned faces beneath summer’s sunlight five years ago,
but fine lines were forming then.
I think about apple cider vinegar,
drinking spring water, unfolded laundry,
and I don’t allow my thoughts to wander, to my mother.
Time divulges answers to not-so-secret questions, little by little.
I can not say, when she is better,
and I cannot say there is a sure end-road called illness,
as she is gaining (perspective, energy, appetite, a couple pounds),
and doctors rarely factor prayer and nutrition into their diagnosis,
but it’s like raising children, or being alive anywhere, any place,
we are so often unpleasantly and pleasantly surprised
(the world is not meant to cushion us, but to grow our spirits),
no one can say how things will turn (which is more important,
the outcome or the process, or the marriage of the two?).
I can hardly go there at all.
Not for sanity-preservation, I just don’t see the point today,
and I want to be aware, here, in God’s given moments.
And if she recovers fully (a real possibility), I’ll keep this new habit
of kissing her on the cheek, because she smiles every time.

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