A mother who lived to peel apples,
bake the most exquisite pies. Suffuse the air
with delicious love. A father gah-gah for fossils,
mummies, cow manure.
Back then she and her mother waited for the phone to ring, for money to plump itself up and walk through their door. Moments passed with yarn and crochet hooks.
She’s not out for blood but, like her father,
a natural strategist and soon has me
in her grasp.
My mother was a place. She was the where
from which I rose.
And in the evening, after the sun had set
and the birds were alighting in the trees, my mother,
in her housedress and apron and cheap leather shoes
and my father’s dress socks, went out to water the flowers…
We weren’t a talking family
especially when it came
to discussing why I locked myself
in the bathroom upstairs
I was sure that I had failed my mother, unable to keep her in her home, as I had once promised.
Make an imaginary phone call to some person or thing to tell them something you never told them.
The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.