In the Hospital

My mother was in the hospital & everyone wanted to be my friend.
But I was busy making a list: good dog, bad citizen, short
skeleton, tall mocha. Typical Tuesday.
My mother was in the hospital & no one wanted to be her friend.
Everyone wanted to be soft cooing sympathies. Very reasonable
pigeons. No one had the tie & our solution to it
was to buy shinier watches. We were enamored with
what our wrists could declare. My mother was in the hospital
& I didn’t want to be her friend. Typical son. Tall latte, short tale,
bad plot, great wifi in the atypical café. My mother was in the hospital
& she didn’’t want to be her friend. She wanted to be the family
grocery list. Low-fat yogurt, firm tofu. She didn’t trust my father
to be it. You always forget something, she said, even when
I do the list for you. Even then.
 

Chen Chen, "In the Hospital" from When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities.  Copyright © 2017 by Chen Chen.  Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.
Source: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org, 2017)