She was wearing his socks, that arvo,
when we sat outside the classroom,
her long greying hair, partially covering
one lens of her glasses. Then she smiled,
with her mouth, though she had
sorrow lines engraved beneath her eyes.
She told me how when her son was sixteen,
he brought home a “tomato” plant, put it in his room,
cared, and watered it carefully. She didn’t think
anything of it, until her policeman husband
told her the truth...they made him get rid of it,
though she found out he planted it in the woods
behind their house. She laughed, said she
would see him disappear in the trees, sometimes.
As she wore his socks, she told me how
years later, she would buy it for him
and his girlfriend to ease the pain, the suffering,
to help them keep food down their throats,
as the pharmaceutical cocktails poisoned
their bodies, chemical leeches trying
to keep breaths in their lungs, life
in their AIDS emaciated faces.
But she wrapped her feet with his socks,
before inserting them in the black tenny runners,
and she lifted one leg of her light blue jeans,
and showed them to me, as she told me
she likes to wear his socks on Jewish holidays,
curl up on the easy chair, or sometimes his bed,
with a book and a cup of rum laced tea,
she felt close to him then, and the touch
of his spirit that still infused his clothing,
the faint traces of his scent that still remained,
gave her a comfort she lacked from God.