I don’t know how I figured out
about those pills. Maybe I asked her.
Maybe she thought it was best
to be honest. Or maybe she didn’t
say a word and neither did I.
I didn’t take one every day. Only
once in a while I went to her bathroom
casually, as if I might be looking
for shampoo, or Cashmere Bouquet powder,
and slipped a pill in my bathrobe pocket.
Red if I wanted to be knocked out.
Blue if I wanted a gentle rocking.
I loved that part, poised
in front of the cabinet
at the moment of theft,
eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
my heart pounding so loudly
I thought for sure she’d hear.
And then the plunge into my mother’s
strange dreamless sleep.