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 Review, Crab Creek Review, Typehouse Literary, Gone 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.