Weekend Getaway With Mom a Year After Her Stroke

My mother, in her crimson coat,
crosses the pedestrian bridge,

refusing to use its green railings.
Follows the fox-footed snow

to the lake. Her eyes, hungry,
on its wind-whipped waves.

All weekend she gets asked,
Am I walking too fast for you?

All day she is told to speak louder;
by the couple we drank with

when the storm knocked out power, by
the kind waiter who moved here from India.

Speak up, please dear! I can't hear.

On the lakeshore, Mom pauses
to examine a Japanese barberry––

red branches vibrant as an artery
against the gray sky. She kneels,

slowly, to brush off the snow
from a single wild daisy.

Lisa Alletson’s poems and prose can be found in New Ohio ReviewCrab Creek ReviewTypehouse LiteraryGone Lawn, and other journals. She writes on Twitter at @Lotustongue. This poem is included in her book ‘Good Mother Lizard’ – winner of the 2022 Headlight Review chapbook prize.