My Mom Called
Today, my mom called.
We haven’t talked in months.
My phone rang this morning at 7:02 a.m.
When I added her to my contacts, I gave her a special name.
Death is calling.
I almost let her go on ringing. Let her end up in my voicemail where I can delete her in one flick of my thumb. Gone, like she never happened.
But for no reason at all, I answered. Because maybe it was someone calling from her phone to tell me she was dead. There are some calls that you don’t want to miss.
I could hear her take a breath. A struggling gulp of air.
I didn’t say anything.
She cleared her throat.
And we both waited for something that wouldn’t come. Blame and hate and a spewing of slights and falling short.
Silence. A breath. And a long exhale through her nose. She was getting over a cold, I could tell.
"I hope you have a good day."
"Happy birthday, dear."
And then I pressed End.