I am sleeping tonight side by side with my mother
on spring and feather, matching queen-sized mattresses,
in the adjoining room my brother and his family.
We’ve escaped Vancouver where father has died
for Victoria’s quaint tea and saucers, halibut and chips,
cream-filled chocolates, Salish art, a visit to eldest
brother’s duplex, parks for the grandkids to run free.
Distract us. Today, I leveraged grief for a table
at a packed restaurant. How long can we get away with
that? Mom ponders. Now, she surprises me, channel-
surfing: CSI New York, Evening News. Rest is all I want,
the narrow corridor between our beds, thirty-five years
between us, our islands of sorrow barely visible to each
other but I understand my role as company, as witness.
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