Ascension

Ascension

Ascension 1920 1440 James Claffey

My mother floats into the clouds and I am holding fast to her feet, anchoring her to the ground. We are in her room in the care home outside Dublin, the weak winter sun seeping through the windows, the barometer on the wall from when I was a child. She is not human. She is one of those mummified bodies in Central America, the ones removed from family shrines and brought home on the Feast of All Souls each year—brought home and propped in a beloved chair, surrounded by loved ones, by favorite foodstuffs, by cherished photography with siblings, grandparents and old friends. She grins, her skull pale and the teeth yellowed. Of a sudden she rises from the chair and ascends towards what had been the ceiling but is now open sky. I reach for her dangling ankles.

Header photo © Sonnet Mondal.

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