She mourned for so long that calling out to
the dead cat became as ritualistic as a prayer.
She clasped her hands together,
closed her eyes in sheer devotion
and said: mama, can we not believe in fact,
but a promise?
I take her hands apart, shake my head.
You promised me something, once—
I prayed, too. Held you on that bed for hours,
until the flat line beeped.
Her headband reflected light from the chandelier,
formed a halo.
I stared at the bright metal band.
A fulfilled promise is there, somewhere.