Today my mother turns 64. There is a party with loud nurses and children and neighbors with flowers. Balloons and slices of ham. A bottle of port.
They poke her and tell her to smile. Ask her if she is awake. Feed her sliced ham. I take her inside. We are quiet.
The man who lives in the house I grew up in comes with his guitar. He sings for her. He sings songs everyone wants to sing in a way no-one can sing along. Songs about mountains. Songs about trains. Will you still need me. Will you still feed me. She leans against me as he plays. She keeps her eyes closed. I hold a glass of port in my right hand, her hand in the other.
The man finishes his songs. The people start to leave with their loud goodbyes and their loud affections. I hold her and sing her a song as everyone turns away. She wraps her legs around mine and curls into me when I sing. It's by the the hardest thing. Follow me. I tell her I love her and leave.
The grass along the extension is purply-red. There are beans in my mother's pot. Yellow finches in the sunflowers. This summer will end if we wait it out.
Don't think twice. It's alright.