I heard the squeaky wheels each morning—
my mother’s first trip to the bathroom
before she forgot to go.
I could have WD-40’d the wheels
but like a baby monitor
the squeak kept me on my toes.
Mom loved that walker—
the red frame reminded her of the Radio Flyer
her brothers would drag her around in when they had to
watch her, the youngest of eight.
It reminded me of the red wagon my mother pushed
me in on Jerusalem Ave when we went to the potato farms
to pick out our supper russets.
I put a straw basket on the walker’s handlebars,
a basket that in another universe would have carried
a wedge of cheese and a baguette. In this universe it held
Mom’s pills, her phone directory and flip phone.
The last thing I gave her was a book of my poems,
sex and angst filled the pages. I’m not sure if she read it,
or understood it or was mad at it but she held that book like a kitten,
loving it until it slipped from her hands.
Vicki Iorio is the author of the poetry collections Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Press, Not Sorry, Alien Buddha Press and the chapbooks Send Me a Letter, dancinggirlpress and Something Fishy, Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals including The Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, poets respond on line, The Fem Lit Magazine, and The American Journal of Poetry. Vicki is currently living in Florida but her heart is in New York.