My Mother’s Remedy

My mother, in the hallway photo,
would advise me
to stir a spot of scotch in honey,
blend it with tea
to ease her grandson’s cough.

I don’t pray to her

though the photograph is saintly.

I am certain
she would guide me
to the proper cure.

The soul of the house
is not the 1940’s girl
in graduation gown,

its heartbeat
not her memory

but feet pounding stairs,
a man gripping a cold towel,
sweet syrup in his hand.