My mother loved the outdoors
whether it was a walk at a park,
or dining “al fresco”, I still repeat
those words in her memory when
eating on a patio or other open area.

She planted annuals in containers
by the stairway leading to our front door,
in green gardening gloves
watering and pruning red geraniums all season
keeping them strong and welcoming.

Summers she rested in a lounge chair by the pool
at the swim club in a turquoise bathing suit,
supervising us splashing and swimming
beside her a tower of magazines and newspapers
she hadn’t found time to read.

Most of all she adored the beach wearing a
wide brimmed straw hat settled in a beach chair
beside that tower of magazines and newspapers
low to the sand slathered with sun screen
big sunglasses waving as we bobbed in the ocean

I recall pushing her wheelchair to the
garden of the nursing home. We rested
under a tree providing shade
on a sunny fall afternoon, I removed
my sweater hugging it around her shoulders
thinking — with time to read
her low vision had stolen that pleasure.