by Naomi Shihab Nye

He waters public avenue trees at midnight, secretly –
tugging hoses from places where he hid them,
hooking to spigots, staring up
at the sky. His mother has lost her mind.
He would do anything to bring her back.
Each evening he takes her
one wrapped chocolate.
Through heat-blasted days
gnarled roots in the soil
hold what moisture they can.
Waiting, needing him.
Sometimes his mother laughs
with that same twinkle she had,
turning a doll in her hands.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.