William Frawley
Waiting for My Mother to Die

                        for Christopher

My near-wordless son, born closed
Like a dusked morning glory, sat
Undisturbed in the medical stench and posed
The question we all had: “Why is it that

she keeps saying, ‘This is the end of my life?’”
Sliced by just the faintest glance, he’d
disappear like an edge turned toward you. My wife’s
convinced that other people make him bleed.

My mother’s screams for help cut us loose
from her, except for Christopher, autist,
undistanced and saved, caught in the lintel. The uses
of his limits pass him free and blood-kissed,

as he pares my ever thinned belief
that he will come late and soft to grief.