Keep the Suitcase Open
Mama needed a weekend.
She left lasagna in the oven,
instructions on the counter,
and departing words on the doorstep.
Mama needed a day without pearls.
She packed only two outfits for her trip
and took quiet pleasure
in the wrinkles and creases.
She wouldn't touch an iron for a while.
Mama needed to wake up one morning without the boys.
She drove quietly with the windows down.
She left the radio off, humming instead
with the engine.