Bursts of irritation with the hospital gown
ended when she got the thing off
despite our efforts to stop her from compromising
the modesty she’d held fast to all her life,
at least the part that we had known.

Then that was done, and we could see

our mother was naked and so thin
her breasts were staring knot-holes, skin
stretched over her bones like bark till she
was sexless, watertight as a canoe and aimed
at the roaring edge for a high finish.


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