Mother

In the time it takes me to open the door,
you age another year.
You sit there,
watching birds outside your window,
like you did
the morning I said my first words.

You live now in a place
where there aren’t many words
except complaints about the weather,
or on a good day
arguments over politics.
Conversations start with “remember when”
and end with “kids these days.”

I cross the room,
and you turn to look at me,
not sure if I might be a bird
or just a memory
that flies away
when you reach for it.