A Poem by Victoria Peterson-Hilleque
I want a chance to do it again,
give Dorothy the last sponge bath, be more
careful with her sore shoulder
this time. I would not chatter
on and on about when the nurse washed
my hair after bunion surgery.
I would ask her about living
at the convent; her desire to be a saint.
She would tell me about the farm,
when her mother tied her
to the back of the tractor and plowed the fields.
I would slowly rinse the soap listening,
ask her to tell me about the day
she knew she was on her own. She stood
at the bottom of a steep,
steep hill thick, slick
with ice. She took a few minutes
to acknowledge no one
would rescue her.
I want to ask her how she
made her way up.