Have you ever tried to put how you feel about your mother into words? Did it all sound cliche, especially on Mother's Day? Well, I have. And it does. She's all the things the great mothers who inspire Hallmark cards are, with one major exception: she's anything and everything, but cliche. She's the number one fan of my poetry, and frankly, the only possible way to express my feelings on this Mother's Day is in verse, so here goes. This poem is dedicated to the strongest person I know. If you want to know more about her, please visit her blog.
Because You Are My MomYour mother is a ghost
who splayed my childhood,
Her gossamer touch tearing seams.
She clenched her jaw during dinner
and threw napkins for fun.
Your father was a nearly silent lantern
who liked spicy mustard
with his checkers and toast.
He smiled beneath his bifocals
with his hands behind his back.
You are the sum total with a brush,
both to detangle my hair
and to paint, of course.
You have answered my questions since birth,
but pretend to still have secrets.
Don't you remember your journal
was written on my small ears next to the bay?
My favorite house was hideous
and you steered me toward class.
You wanted a motorcycle for a hot minute
and I've been rolling my eyes
and appealing to your lady-like lectures ever since.
If she called me in 35 years
and told me she has cancer,
My cells would divide
for ghosts to light lanterns that float back home.
I would dive into the shallow waters
beneath the docks by the Guild.
But you mended my sweater
and masked your tears toward a drugstore.
As strong as the paint that survived
beneath the paint you first applied
to the ripped paper
beneath the final spot with your signature.
The paint that survives.
Because you are my mom...I'll survive.
Happy Mother's Day to all of strong mothers out there, especially my mom. I love you, Monnie.