Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 169 words
By Claire Weiner

The Morning My Mother Died

My sister and I went to The Bagel Place. We sat 
in a red vinyl booth facing the parking lot; 
Florida’s July heat already shimmered off the asphalt. 
I nodded when the waitress offered coffee, 
pointed to the picture of scrambled eggs on the menu. 
My sister muttered, “The same.” 

92-year-old kidneys don’t last forever, 
even in my mother. 

Six months before, she declined dialysis. 
“Throwing good money after bad,” she said, 
as though talking to a car mechanic instead 
of the specialist at the foot of her hospital bed. 
He didn’t disagree. 

And so, we flew home, waited until the day 
she collapsed. 

Suddenly, my mother who knew her bank balance 
to the penny, didn’t. We sat by her side for five days. 
Each day her breath grew more ragged, less substantial; 
her blue eyes more clouded, her hands less open. 

But on the last day, when I lingered alone
with her in the hospice room, her cheeks were as soft as ever. 

Claire Weiner
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is the author of a poetry chapbook, For a Chance to Walk on Streets of Gold (Finishing Line Press, 2024). Her work has been published in After Hours Press, Burningwood Literary Journal, Michigan Jewish History, Peninsula Poets, and others. She spent her non-writing career as a clinical social worker helping people make more sense of their life stories. She splits her time between Ann Arbor and Tucson, grateful to be surrounded by natural beauty in both places.

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.