No one told me

if when I grew old

not old but up

not a child but still her child

that one day, if fate was cruel, or

distracted, not watching the road

No one told me I could be standing here

squeezing a hand, smoothing hair

wiping away tears

because I am now

the comforter, the worrier, the pacer of floors

the pusher of elevator buttons

the keeper of hours

No one told me I’ll need to know what to say

when eyes cloud with pain

and words choke in her throat

No one told me any of this

No one.