I slide the homemade DVD into the player.
My sister labeled it “Holidays 1992” in black Sharpie.
Mom’s face appears when I push play.
The camera follows her every move,
and I think how that must have hurt,
being the center of attention, because we all knew
but no one spoke aloud that this would be her last Christmas.
The voice I catch between grandkids’ laughter is barely hers,
and I want you to know her, son, but not like this,
not the haunted look of cancer that even
her favorite red Christmas dress couldn’t hide,
that our laughter and presents and denial couldn’t defeat.
I want you to know her as she was.
So I write.
I write how your cousins climbed on her lap,
smothered her with kisses; how she blew raspberries
on adoring crimson cheeks and squeezed them tightly,
not wanting to let go, yet ready,
so ready, to fly.
Amy Nemecek lives in northern Michigan with her husband and son. Her poems have appeared in The 3288 Review, Mothers Always Write, Indiana Voice Journal, Snapdragon, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. When Amy isn’t working with words, she enjoys playing the violin, walking along country roads, and researching family history. @Beloved_Delight.