Photo by Megan
My mother and father
in the parking lot of Toby
Hospital, on a snow-swept
January, Massachusetts morning:
she cries, it’s time, from
the backseat, but my father
only wants the warmth of this car,
the safety of this life before a new one.
He says, let me finish this cigarette, Joyce
just a minute, for Christsakes.
But apparently I can’t wait
because my mother cries out again
as I appear head-first
on the rough cloth seats
the windows cloudy with steam
my mother’s warm tears,
lips up against my own.
Outside it’s so cold, all you could see,
they tell me now, is a wall of white snow.
Steve Cushman earned his MFA from University of North Carolina-Greensboro and has published two novels, Portisville and Heart With Joy, as well as apoetry chapbook, Hospital Work.