What is the secret of such inwardness?
She’s disappeared into herself again
skating across the ice of consciousness
her movements indistinguishable from pain.
Is this my mother or the Virgin Mary?
I do not recognize this pious poise
seated at the bed’s edge, solitary,
indifferent to the tenor of my voice.
She mumbles in an ad hoc prayer tongue
of interchangeable syllabic beats
spoken, yet simultaneously sung.
Meaning is secondary to such feats.
Nothing can stand between her and her God.
I cannot hope to follow her footsteps
regardless how I question, poke or prod;
only her eyes will answer from the depths.