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In Preparation for That Which Will Inevitably Wreck Me

What will I do
when so far from now
my memory conjures up
the sunbaked scent of my mother,
the sharp sweat stench of my father?
The cologne of an ex
on the clothes of a new one,
the coffee factory workers
at the end of a long day,
the pain-relieving gels and creams
that tunnel deep and torment
long after the sufferer is gone?
What will I do when the pot of coffee
my husband’s just put on,
the German pot roast braising at 275°F for 4 hours,
the weighted blanket that anchors
my side of the marriage bed,
my son’s sweet, shampooed head,
snarled and wet,
is replaced by my mother
in from mowing the lawn,
her lean arms deepened to almond,
free of sunscreen,
void of lotion,
only her,
my child’s nostrils drinking her in,
missing, already.

Christine Naprava lives in South Jersey with her family and many cats.