This morning I swim laps, startle when heavy bird wings shudder overhead.
Looking up, a flock of squawking Canada Geese. So like Mother, I say aloud.

I ran alongside such a skein, the morning she died. Late fall in Ohio, cold.
They honked for five minutes, me feeling their ruckus in my shoulders.
Sensing mom's spirit flying away with them, my feet almost left the ground.

They skimmed the pond across from her house. I ran beside, then under them
until I ran out of breath, blinking hot tears on chilling skin. Next to a frozen
field of dried corn stalks, rattling.

Today, draped across the lane line in the blue pool, I cry for her early leaving,
her open talking to her sisters, all of them together,
these thirty years of missing her.