Tissues, the box an arm’s length away
from the woman who talks about
her daughter, my client,
her many relapses, how she did well
for a time. I nod. Somewhere, a blast
of car horns. Outside my door,
men are here to paint the hallway.
“Jerry, get the ladder,” one shouts.
I shut them out, focus on the woman
telling about her daughter, my client,
who drove drunk again last night.
Blood alcohol three times the limit.
She wants the details right. Totaled.
Air lift. The mother reaches for a tissue.
Perhaps, later in the market,
she’ll pick through potted mums,
choose one not quite bloomed.
Or maybe this is how she’ll be,
her face now forever white
as tissues in her hands
held ’til session’s end,
dropped into a wastebasket
I’ll later carry out
to the world.