F ourteen years ago my mother was
locked in a little room at St. Francis Cabrini
Hospital, because we didn't know what else to do
But Mother knew.
Mother knew LOTS better things to do
than to be locked up in a little room
She ripped her down pillow open
with her teeth.
Blew handfulls of soft white feathers
under the door
and yelled "Fire! Fire!"
An orderly actually came
and threw the door open.
Faster than a naked toddler
Mother skinned under his arm
zipped down the hall
slammed through the main doors
and raced down the sidewalk
three-o-clock in the afternoon broad daylight
92 pounds in a flapping hospital gown
long wiry black hair
Mother told me the story herself.
I was never so proud of her.
To this day
I stand a little straighter
when I have feathers in my hair.