A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users
for Lisa Fay Coutley
Our mother was often desperate
because of my brothers and me—once
she threw the dish drainer at Charles,
slapped the back of Bill’s head so that
his face plopped down into his spaghetti
and what did she get for that? More boy
guffaws in our victory over her self-control.
Our mother wore little mascara, served her sentence
of three sons in a house at the end of a dirt road
in a time of no post-it notes, two channels on TV,
no shrinks, no antidepressants, and her only role model
was Mrs. Perkins who one afternoon rode Toby’s bicycle
down Church Hill, skirts fluttering over her thighs,
to buy a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Decorum
meant everything to our mother, and if someone had told
my brothers and me that mothers can drive away,
that would have frozen us in place like a game
of statues before Charles would have said Oh yeah,
and where would she go? and Bill would have said Maybe
down to the Post Office? And me? I’d have been
scared, because I loved her way more than my Roy Rogers
silver cap pistols with their white fringed holsters,
but finally I’d have found something real
funny to say.
Copyright 2018 David Huddle
David Huddle’s many books include Dream Sender (Louisiana State University Press, 2015.
Toward the end, when she could still think straight, Granny shared memories of her handsome boys, blackberry pies and magic tricks here and there. Her memories would fade out from time to time but the biscuits would keep rollin’ out the oven. Butter, honey, hillbilly bliss.
LikeLiked by 1 person
What a rich poem, David. Thank you.
Women were so desperate in those days to have more than the little they had – many still have reason to feel desperate. I thought about my mother-in-law running away from her three young kids – to behind the garage, where they could see her through the kitchen window. Thank you for reminding us.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Twitter account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Facebook account.
( Log Out /
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Enter your email address to subscribe to Vox Populi for free.
Enter email address.
Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.
Blog at WordPress.com.