Grandma left mom her soft-sided suitcase
Full of prescription medicines.
Whenever I suffered an emotional or physical ailment,
Mom pulled a baggie of rainbow-colored pills
Out of her purse. Whenever I took
Whatever they were, I first lost
The feeling in my fingers and toes.

The morning after Mom ate
Randy’s fries off his plate, finger-painted
A smile in his ketchup,
And held it up for God and
Everyone at Herby K’s to see,
She said, It’s not the booze. It’s the pills.
This was as close to an apology
As she ever made.

I take two pills every night,
Soon to be paint colors,
Birth Control Indigo and Sertraline Blue.
In the morning, I take a multi
And Serrapeptase, an anti-inflammatory
Made from a material found in silkworms’ intestines.
Moths use the substance to dissolve their cocoons.