Memories of My Mother
- You thought I wouldn’t understand, I guess.
Talking to your friend, Mickey and Joan and I watching.
You said to your friend, “I always said when I grew up
I was going to have five children born two years apart,
and they’re all going to have black hair and blue eyes.”
Then, motioning to us, “And there stand three kids with
brown hair and brown eyes!”
It was my first gut punch.
I was six, maybe seven years old.
- Replace that button?
There’s no need.
It’ll never be noticed on a galloping horse.
- You were teaching Bible School.
The kids were asking you questions about your life.
You said when Mike was born, you and Daddy
really wanted a boy.
And when Moni was born, you both really wanted a girl.
Pointing at me, they asked “What did you want
when she was born?”
It didn’t matter, you said. You already had one of each.
Later, when I said you had embarrassed me, you asked,
What should I have said?
“You should have said you wanted Me!”
And you scoffed and said, “Oh, Posh Tish!”
And walked away.
- I was fourteen. We were driving in the car, you and I.
I remember what street we were on.
We were talking about being safe around men.
I suppose you thought you were giving life advice.
You said you’d rather be killed than raped.
What I heard was that you’d rather I be killed than raped.
- When Steve, my second son, was born,
You chortled – yes, chortled is the right word –
and said, “There’ll be a war in twenty years.
Lots of baby boys are being born.”
It went all over me, that you would say,
that I was raising my sons
to die young in a war.
How was that even thinkable to you?