My Mother’s Last Gift

In hospital more than out
ordering fruit for breakfast
was my father’s habit, he didn’t
especially like fruit
but he ordered it to give to me.
Everyday I visited:
here’s your banana;
you should eat it dad;
No, I got it for you to eat;
so I did and we laughed
and the next day we argued about it again
until
until
until you
were in hospital the final time
and ordered fruit for breakfast.
I found it
still at the bottom of my purse
the day after you died.
Tears coursed
down my face outside the supermarket
where I’d stopped to buy food
for my father – your husband’s dinner.
It was just that, you know, it was
the last tangible you gave me
and it couldn’t be saved.

 

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