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Jar of Light

by Katherine Hauswirth

She watched us catch fireflies,
study their flickers through
the dime store plastic dome.
Sipped her iced wine,
offered her shorthand for
"My children are
my jewels".
I help her into the gown 
before today's radiation, 
unclasp her jeweled bracelet-
one stone for each child,
soft gold dented where
our infant teeth
came in.
She chatters as we head home,
content with the shape
of the clouds, the curving 
road, her prize of new books.
Her words shine against
the deepening grays just through
the windshield,
a simple adornment
Like light held
in a jar
in my hand.

Katherine Hauswirth lives and works in the shoreline area of Connecticut. Her poems, essays, and articles have been published in such publications as the Christian Science Monitor, Lutheran Digest, Orion online, the On Being blog, Wilderness House Literary Review, Blueline, Whole Life Times, and many more. Katherine blogs at www.fpnaturalist.com. This poem was inspired by a quiet moment in the pre-radiation locker room with her mother-now an 87-year-old, five-year cancer survivor.