Saying Goodbye to Nanny
“Wait until morning,” my sister insists.
“Nanny will live until morning.”
But I lie awake all night,
waiting for the ringing of the phone.
I drink too much coffee and drive too fast,
not even stopping to pee, and get there
just before noon. Nanny is alive,
but she’s also not.

Here is what I want to do:
Sing to her softly, lullabies
like she sang to me, words
I can’t recall but love I can.
Read to her from the Psalms.
Psalm 23. Yea though I walk
through the valley of the shadow-
Lie in bed with her and hold her.

Here is what I do instead:
Stroke the papery skin of her
left arm. Sit at the foot of her bed
and rub her feet. Stroke the fine hair
away from her forehead.
Say goodbye too soon.