My parents did it for the kids
until my mother called it quits
complaining of corporate wife-dom
at too many company barbeques.
She almost passed for Southern-charmed,
her hairsprayed bouffant so hard
flies could walk on it.
She once said
she should not have had kids
and I forgave her
on the afternoon of her funeral.
At her double-wide
in the north Georgia mountains,
I heard her voice in the August air,
whispering — urgent —
I’ve been waiting for you.
I watched as
a tiger swallowtail lifted
on what little air there was.