By: Sarah Hirsch

showers are often taken for granted
a comfort for the morning, afternoon, late night, whenever
consistently enveloping you in that same warm blanket
always at that perfect angle
so you never have to put in unnecessary effort

but showers can vary
nearly every time i visited my mother
new place new companion new shower
always one underlying feature

icy cold quick bursts piercing
scalding hot steady stream suffocating
lackadaisical drizzle uneven on one side confusing
all completely different
one without a spigot, essentially a hose

each with a different set up, a new set of instructions
which way is hot which way is cold how do i turn it off
i haven’t showered in the same house as my mother in five years
i no longer have to rely on a haphazard note or uneven heating
my shower’s foundation is strong i am strong i can turn things on