Mama would be ashamed of me
for breaking my neck and not
having clean drawers on.
What did the doctor think
when he cut off your jeans and T-shirt
and you with no clean drawers on.
Mama learned to live with three boys
who loved the brush of denim and
joy of pocket pool until Levis wore
threadbare. Mama would shake
her head in shame. I am 50 now,
spread eagle on my own bed.
Mama’s dead nearly a full year,
my neck never healed despite her
mustard seed faith. Nurses turn
and position me with pillows,
I have nothing to say; nuts shriveled
as after-Christmas oranges.
Mama’d be ashamed.