by Kitty Boots

you have laid out their clothes the night before
made sure they bathed, brushed their teeth
you checked their homework

after tucking them in
you prepared and packed lunches
a few Hershey's Kisses tucked in with the note

"I love you," Mom

you glance at the art gallery on the refrigerator
the turkey made of a handprint at Thanksgiving
the Mother's Day card
a piece of blue construction paper covered with
macaroni flowers

the dry erase calendar notes the birthday party invitations, the recitals, the teacher's conferences, the ball games

every household, every day
except, for some, it will never be that way again