Kelsey Goeres

When I Think of My Mother, I Like to Think of Her on Vacation

She’s in the pool floating on her back, hair dancing above her like a starfish crown. A peaceful expression rests upon her face. Gaze tracking up, up, up to the palm trees lining the patio. They tower over my small mother, conjuring the image of a baby below a friendly and familiar mobile. Like little green pinballs, lizards dart around the edges of the water, some daring enough to lean over and lap up a raindrop amount. The breeze is warm but cooler than the pool. The air, thick and cozy like a fuzzy blanket just out of the dryer, is filled with the sound of crashing waves. She can see the ocean from the pool if she stands on her tip-toes, my small mother.

On the plane ride over, she told me her word for the trip was “abandon.” She didn’t want to fuss over tracking grains of sand into the hotel room, smearing her sunscreened legs on the crisp, white sheets, her hair getting wet and curly.

My mother, my heart
Hard to know you had it hard
Floating like a leaf

Kelsey Goeres is a poet and journalist in Los Angeles, California. She writes about art, culture, and what it means to be a human being. She can be found on Twitter @kelsgore.