My Mother Can Walk in My Dreams

Sometimes she rises stiffly, 
as anyone would
who's been sitting for years, 
and other times quickly, 
as if the wheelchair
were just another seat —
like the pink recliner
she had at home.

My mother can drive in dreams, too.
Where does she go?
Maybe to the hair salon, 
or to a large retail store,
where she browses each narrow aisle
at her own pace,
or to a small café
for a quiet cup of coffee in a tight booth,
or to the movie theater
where she sits
in the very top row.

My mother, in my dreams,
thinks it's true 
that she can walk and drive.
She doesn't know,
like I do,
the cruel lie of it; 
or how, soon,
I'll wake up,
sad and disappointed,
the way I feel each time
I see her sneakers
at the back of her closet. 

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