Singing Across the River
“Fly, Mumma, fly!” that’s what I said
fanning her face with a dance fan made just for her
and this moment. Final phase, we call it –
small droosy salt crystals formed around the creases of her nose.
It was my turn to sit with her.
It was after midnight. She and I had done all our talking.
She would not go to hell, she said, because she gave the priest
one last chance to forgive her.
She forgave him for refusing to administer her last rites.
“No”, I said, “you will go home to the stars.”
Early on Mumma and I found a purple pouch
that would be her travel bag. She agreed, she would travel light.
She and Dad, me, my sister, Aunts and brother agreed
that the bag would not ever be removed from her body. We made
a pact that no one, not even Dad, would look inside.
Mumma packed the things she wanted to keep in her heart.
I never looked in her pouch but I know
she took a cassette tape of me singing my own songs.
It is a complex thing
this singing spirits home.