My Mother

Was a little blonde toddler
with large sky-blue eyes
Born to Ernie Green and Sally Martin
in a modest home in Fort Worth, Texas
then passed off at three to an aunt and uncle

She was charming, cute, she couldn’t get
enough of that thing we call love
She grew into a bright adolescent,
achieved high marks in school
She slept on handmade pillow cases
and played with redwood dollhouses
her Daddy made her

As a teenager she started noticing older men and
the way they looked at her in her cheerleading skirt
She started sneaking out of the house

When she was home she ate wholesome meals
and after dinner her artist mother would photograph
her wearing vintage gowns with fur collars
in black-and-white film
Her mother thought
she was just beautiful
And she was

At eighteen she was in so deep her
parents persuaded her to join the Army
She did but was sent home after two weeks
for bad conduct

My mother met my Dad on a camping trip
and attached to him like a leach
He didn’t mind at all and next
thing you knew they were pregnant
My father proposed while sitting with her
inside the Nova and they wed down
at the courthouse, she wore a blue dress,
I’ve seen pictures

A year or so later, after I was born,
my mother looked around the little house
with the fire needing stoked and the
baby needing fed and she said,
I’m nineteen, to helk with this
She flew the coop and changed her name
from Darlene to Brenda

Sometimes I imagine she’d chosen to stay,
and got a decent job as a nurse or a receptionist
down at one of Crescent City’s little clinics or something

That didn’t happen
but I do want her to know,
We never wanted you to go

4 thoughts on “My Mother

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for reading. I have a feeling I should embrace the opportunity I have now, as an adult, to have a relationship with my mother. There’s no excuse not to. Things happen. Time flies. Best to you healing from your recent loss Tommy.

  2. Hi Terah. I was pacing the carpet this morning, reciting Robert Frost’s poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay, over and over again while the daffodils outside the window were shrugging off a half inch of April snow, when I read this poem. As Emily Dickinson said, you know a good poem because it either leaves you weeping or blows the top of your head off and this poem did both for me. You have rifled those hoards of gold that Nature in her simple ways can’t seem to hold. I will not leave here the same as I came. Thank you.

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