Laura Ohlmann

Wellspring


I pour Mom a bath of oatmeal suds and keep my forearm submerged to judge what is too hot and what will soothe her. She needs help taking a bath now. I undress her, the way she once held my body close as a newborn and wriggled the fat legs out of the cloth sack. She was always a good mother. Sticky notes in our lunch boxes, two cherry Twizzlers for dessert. I take her by the hand and the fingers feel small— soft fuzz on her head and the nape of her neck, skin flaking from her shoulders like lanugo. When I wash the matter from her back and my hand brushes her breast beneath the sudsy water, we