Mother’s Day, 1993

by Todd H. C. Fischer

A knock at the door
and I’m pulled from bed,
my brother calmly saying,
“You better come upstairs.”
Voices are raised in the bedroom;
mom is pulling on a shirt,
“Talk to him!” she yells.
On the bed lies my father,
covers rumpled,
a wet spot on the front of his underwear.
I don’t think his chest is moving.
And I talk
but I know it’s too late already
and I’m talking to a corpse.
Men burst in and usher us out.
My mom’s best friend pulls us into a car
and we follow the roaring ambulance
to the squat white hospital
roosting on the lakeshore.
A green nurse takes us into a room
and we wait.

Finally, a doctor enters.
“Nothing we could do,”
he walks out.
My mother cries,
my brother stares at the wall,
and I throw a chair across the room.
Later, I wander the grounds,
followed by a cousin set to watch me.
I recognize my mother’s sister’s van
and she runs through the geese,
grasps my arms.
“How is he?”

In a small room
we viewed the body,
covered by a white shroud.
Only his arm protruding
and its this grey thing
seeming too frail to be the arm
that itched to throw me a baseball,
that shook me when I hurt my mother.
Shrunken, with yellow nails—
this is not him.
And I leave

Now, his picture hangs on the wall,
put there by my wife,
a woman he never met.
I need that picture because
I’m losing him again.

Todd H. C. Fischer's picture

Todd Fischer has been an artist and a writer his entire life and has had several stories and pictures appear in small press journals world wide. He has also published newsletters and chapbooks under the 'imelod Publications' label during the 90's, as well as for several clubs and organizations. He is one of the founders of 'Stonebunny Press' which publishes a variety of material, and is a freelance artist through his Arm Cross Studios., He has worked as a Production Scheduler in a recording studio (recording books for the blind), as well a variety of odd jobs such as window cleaner, grass cutter in a cemetery and as a face painter., In his free time Todd is a medieval re-enactor and a proud member of the Lions. He is a voracious reader, a cartoonist and sometimes playtests various games (including the RPG ‘Spaceship Zero’ and the Rifts CCG). Map making, book collecting, story writing/telling, Halo and poetry are also activities that Todd enjoys.

Last updated August 10, 2011