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Not a mother who drove us to things,
didn’t like driving–or other Moms,
but in the backyard she neglected
her clothesline to play with us.
Joe was steady when she married him,
seven kids later he is still solid.
Her dreams were artistic,
not caught up in soap operas.
She was creating a new breed
with crayons, storybooks and blind faith.
We tried hard to satisfy;
her rovers, fakers and whiners,
scholars and volunteers.
On Sundays we went to Mass
and then for candy.
She kept her eye on the kitchen clock,
telling us the time
or teaching us to tell it.
*Smell the pines* she’d insist
when we were bundled on a walk.
It pierces me now
like no other advice.
Copyright 2019 Ellen Foos
Ellen Foos is the publisher of Ragged Sky Press and is a production editor at Princeton University Press.