The Warwick Review
My mother sits rigidly in the pew. Her legs are crossed at the ankles. Rather than black, she has chosen to wear a lovely, peach-colored suit with mother-of-pearl buttons. Her hair, tidy and stylish in a sleek, gray bob, is as I remember it from the last time I saw her, nearly three years ago. Although the chapel is sparsely filled and no one sits to either side of her, my mother seems to have compressed her petite frame into an even tinier configuration. I am still furious with her, hugging her only briefly, sensing again that her body is much diminished since our last meeting. I feel, as well, that her steely defiance has hardened to an impenetrable density I have no hope of breaching.