A Box of Mother (Sestina)

Robert Diamante


I flew to Texas to visit my Mother.

She in the living

room looking changed. Only

two months since my last trip, now a box

was there beside her whirling fluid

into tubes forcing life into her


failing body. To see her

overwhelmed me. My Mother,

skin pale from the toxic fluid,

lips taut with pain. Nearly living.

That damned box

was the only


sound in the house, the only

sound she heard. Mother, kept alive by her

android nurse. That box

meant so much to Mother,

her anchor to the living,

which allowed her ephemeral fluid


spirit to stay solid longer. But the toxic fluid

made the whole house stink. I had only

been home an hour when suddenly living

beside death enraged me. Her

discomfort was agonizing. Then Mother

sent me out to search the house for a box


of photographs, a box

that poured out her fluid


your own history. I was shaking only

I could not stop. “Who was Buddy ‘56?” Her

face lit up, “Buddy? Oh! Is he still living?”


Mother lay vanishing in the living

room. The box

holding her only lucid memories. Her

smiling face in their midst. “I’m a teen, there.” On a swing, with fluid

grace her toes touched the sky. “That was my heaven,” she said. Only

a reminder of what will be lost. “Mother,”


I closed the box,

“that was living,

huh?” I asked her.

1 Comment
  • Chris

    August 4, 2020 at 12:33 pm