portion of the artwork for Jennifer Finstrom's poetry

Caretaker
Jennifer Finstrom

My mother never slept well in the guest bedroom, once used only for visitors, and some nights,
my grandmother would knock on the door that was always ajar, asking, “Whose house is this?”
And my mother would tell her, “It’s your house,” and try to laugh. “Good thing you like it.”
And my grandmother would nod then, bemused, and my mother would help her use the bathroom
and walk her back to her bed, sometimes climbing in with her, two slight women curled
in the high bed like children, in case she woke again. And all through the night, my mother
would lie awake listening, her mouth pressed in the same narrow line as when I, a teenager,
stayed out late without explanation, vanishing and appearing in the dark pool around the porch door.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 41 | Summer 2013