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when the first rain sings like a horse being shot,

my mother, on a stepladder, trowels needles from the gutters.

 

i brace the legs, shaking, against brick and muck.

ice cialisforsalecanada.com and dirt down me in sheets. in silence.

 

the aloe you planted stutters back against the ladder’s legs.

this is the word for daughter: watching my mother

 

hit it again and again with the shovel, screw you, screw you.

your stems hiccup open, too tough, too yielding.

 

oh father. your long shape gone from the garden,

gone without ghost, so long before the rain.

 

and now: trowel, muck, bucket, mulch, mud,

the sand and water up to our feet, the flood,

 

and my mother on tiptoe, reaching your height.

with the ladder. almost as tall as you.

 

her ankle crushes my finger with an irretrievable strength.

and it hurts. and we are the same skin –

 

the rain melts it, my skin into hers.

you are no longer a unit of measurement.