I keep calling and all I get
is an answering machine.
She’s eighty-nine and someone
has had the bright idea of getting her
an answering machine.
She probably doesn’t know
how to use it. Or maybe she can’t remember
to call back. She might have forgotten
where she put my phone number.
Anything could have happened at her age,
and I am furious, no livid, and full of anxiety.
I remember the birthday party
she had for me when I was seven.
The toys were all bigger than me.
The cake was a carousel, a huge carousel
with big beautiful horses. No one in town
had ever seen anything like it. Now I fail
to be grateful on mother’s day.
How can I forgive myself?