remembering my mother on Mother’s Day

it was always dinner
at your favorite diner
spaghetti frutti di mare
or fra diavolo
you always took half of it
home in a doggie bag
to eat the next day
and stuffed all the bread
and crackers
from the bread basket
into your purse
we’re paying for it
you’d say
and giggle
George would encourage you
Rita too
I’d just sigh
and pretend I was at
another table
you always had a can
of sardines
waiting for me to take home
along with some Savarin coffee
every Sunday
at our spaghetti dinners together
cold cuts for lunch
on my weekday visits
salami or liverwurst
my favorites you’d say
and rye bread
we’d watch tv together
reruns of Dallas or Knots Landing
you’d have a vcr going
in another room
taping yet one more movie
to add to the hundreds
lining your shelves upstairs
in your bedroom
in the spare room
coffee and crumb cake
later
sometimes I’d visit
and watch you play cards
with Rose and Aunt Katie
for pennies
but you took it seriously
I’d give you the pennies
I got during the week
and you’d sell me
rolls of quarters
for the parking meters
so I wouldn’t get any more tickets
something you worried about
more than I did
I see you dancing
in the dining room
at holiday dinners
singing along
off-key
to Al Martino
and Jerry Vale
charming all the doctors
you had to visit
each falling a little bit
in love with you
your eyes lighting up
with mischief
as you told all those stories
of the family history
with you center stage
of course
your generosity
your unconditional support
of your children grandchildren extended family friends
you outlived them all
the matriarch at 90
still doing your own housework
until that stroke at 86
because you thought you knew better
than the doctors
about which medication to take
stubborn to the end
but always kind
the foster kids
you took in
regardless of race
my brothers
the love you gave us all
there’s too much of you
in my heart
for a single poem
too much of you
still in my life
to ever be able
to let go

17 thoughts on “remembering my mother on Mother’s Day

  1. Lovely poem. I was listening to John Prine songs today and began to wonder about you. Sounds like you’ve gotten into plenty of interesting things. Cool!

    • Well it’s been a life and kept me awake. What about you? Where are you now? I once asked Randy Signor, remembering he had contact with Louise Simon, but he didn’t seem to know.

  2. A evocative and endearing glimpse into your life, your heart, and reason why you are who you are – which I believe we’re all glad and thankful for. Hope you’re well, as we need our correspondent in Istanbul.

  3. sometimes i get lost in your blog, clicking on different things and I find treasures like this. It made me think about all the weird quirky things my mom used to do. thanks for that one.

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