Visiting My Mother

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Here are the embroidered guest towels,
here the separate coffee maker, here

the candies I liked thirty years ago.
She slips me cash to pay for groceries—

yogurt, juice, bananas, a cold six-pack—
I picked up for myself. She wears the pin

I gave her for Christmas, wears her birthday earrings.
The thermostat is set at 76.

I read a book, then another book.
Tacky landscape paintings hang crooked.

I snap at them and her garish figurines,
post them, tweet them, earn a lot of likes.

She’s hesitant to ask about my life,
so she complains about the weather, traffic,

details the epic basement renovations
in homes of people I have never met.

When it’s time for me to go, she’s eager
to strip the bed, get the laundry started,

see me out the door, wave goodbye,
get back to the difficult work of missing me.