Zoom Call for Abuelita
The family gathered around the Zoom call.
The sons, the daughters, the grandchildren, all their spouses.
Abuelita at the center of the screen, a propped doll
In a bed, immobile, unspeaking, responding only
In grunts when Gabi spoke, or when Julie spoke.
Carlos, with his wife and new baby, simply said,
“You are going to a better place, grandma!”
He was the only one who spoke in English.
Still, Abuelita said nothing, barely moving.
The hospice nurse propped her up a little with a pillow.
Everyone was crying.
What would she have said if she could have said anything?
Would she have said, “Remember that I prayed for each of you,
By name, daily, in the morning and at night”?
Would she have said, “Know Him as I know Him”?
Would she have said, “Give my recipe book to Nohemy”?
Everyone made plans to fly to Washington state,
To see her in person one last time, flying during
This COVID year, this messy year, this year of such
Uncertainty and impending death.
The air turned cold that day, the skies grey and blue-black
With freezing rain, a chill as far south as Houston,
Sweeping all our uncertain futures into the Gulf of Mexico.