Pulling the Plug
When we asked my mother about it
about her last wishes she said
pull the plug.
We stood in the old house
on 162nd Street in the breakfast nook
after my father died and everything was sad.
Pull the plug.
When Mother was in rehab for weeks
after the hospital and wasn’t getting better,
the kind nurses said you might consider
hospice for your mother
so my sister and I called
my sister afraid to talk to the hospice nurse
so I had to be brave though my sister
has always been the brave one.
At the hospice they started eliminating
Mother’s meds and interventions
no defibrillators no injections
for her comfort they said—a catheter—we said okay
they said we don’t employ life-saving measures here
we said okay and looked at one another.
They added flowers
after they washed Mother’s hair
and she looked pretty as she slept
everything smelled sweet, yet piquant,
like lavender. We fed her cherry
yoghurt and water and juice.
We asked our favorite question:
do you remember
when we came out of your tummy?
She always said yes but this time
she said no—that was a first
that was how we knew.
by Anastasia Vassos
Ms. Vassos is the author of “Nike Adjusting Her Sandal ”
Her chapbook “Nostos” will be published by Kelsay.
Artist Twitter: @a_vassos
Artist Instagram: @anastasiavassos