we had not yet gathered
in the clinic’s reception area, my mother
my sister and I; we had not yet followed
the dark-haired nurse into the doctor’s office,
arranged ourselves on grey metal chairs;
the tall doctor had not yet entered, his greeting
soft-spoken and kind. Before
the four words had not yet
been released aloud:
It is quite advanced; before
the afternoon clamored
onto its next stunned hour
after hour, and rain deluged my windshield
all the eighty miles back to my house,
though home was back there
with my mother, before,
even at my age, I believed I would
sit beside her, anytime, that she
would live forever always.

Andrea Potos is the author of several books of poems, most recently MARROW OF SUMMER and MOTHERSHELL, both from Kelsay Books. A new collection entitled HER JOY BECOMES is forthcoming from Fernwood Press in fall of 2022. Poems are forthcoming in The Sun Magazine, Poetry East, and Spiritus Journal.