Sunday, May 8, 2011

For Mother's Day, I'd like to introduce you to Mary, my mom.


How was it, Mary, as you flitted past cornfields and felt humidity form on your young ivory brow? 
Your Bellaire and laughter ringing exuberance despite quiet and unspoken stories, a little girl’s confusion ~

the rending of  twins, the black shadow of the Summers, the grit of watching your mother’s decline.

How did you emerge, lovely and soft?

He saw you then, he said, floating across the high school lobby, a brunette beauty with elegant gate.  
Decades cemented in the shady grass of Kansas.

Where did it come from, your courage to board the train, cinching the belt on your slender waist, holding the fabulous hat against your beautifully coiffed black hair?

A girl, an adventure, mad love.

How was it as your world expanded into safety and harbor ~ just in time to join the world’s efforts against tyranny? 

Send him off, Mary.  Find your way.

How was the mountain world of science and parties and energy and the fragileness of peace?   Did you feel the tender tremble of a shy girl midst the cackle of socialites as you sweetly and gently won the hearts of good and true men and women? 

                You always won them, Mary, without trying.

How did you weave it – smells of tacos, lasagna, cookies and drop doughnuts and the creeping despair rising from a body too often betraying your love of life? 
How did you manage it – riding the crest of exuberant waves, inviting all who would join to go to Disneyland, while the creeping dark beckoned, whispered, wanting to steal.

But you, all resurrection.  Surfacing, shunning grave clothes, determined to live.

To find life in sangria and grins and money slipped into grandchildren’s pockets. 
“Shhh,” you would say, as if repercussions were earthshaking for such indiscretions. 

To find Jesus in hummingbirds, cattails formed as décor, golden paper mache crèches, filling your home with smells of glue guns and Christmas.  Heels and pearls around card table bridge. A thermos of hot chocolate as your brood tromped out the door on the frigid New Mexico trek for the perfect Christmas tree.

Land of Enchantment, adopted surely.  Splendid, you said, the drama of light and sound.  “Shhhh,” you said, as finches found your backyard offering, framing your world of Weeping Willow, Russian Olive, Wild Roses, Columbine, Raspberries and Cherry Pie. 
Vinegar in the crust. “Shhh, no one knows.”

Do you want a cookie?
                No thanks, Mom.
You want a cookie.
                No, not really.
I know you want a cookie.
I know what you want.

So often wrong, dear Mary, about cookies and meatloaf.
So how did you know, with perfect intuitive acuity, what we did want, in the tender longings within each of our hearts.

Inextricably woven ~sometimes a spell, sometimes a symphony ~
                fierce determination rose in your eyes at
                a hint
                a rumor
                of your children’s harm.

                Lioness Mary, crouching and sly.

When disgust hit your face, all knew to run, duck and cover or face the wrath of Mary against
                Frank Sinatra
                Scantily clad women
                Mockery for an incorrect pronunciation of Espanola
                Doctrinal arguments

                Some things you did not need.

Where did it come from, your propensity to worry, to hold up the world through the energy of fret?

How good to see your shoulders ease as flickering light marbled granite stone through the moving leaves of aspen, and blue spruced hillsides.
This looks just like Colorado!” your exclamation before your heart’s trip to your Jemez Mountain Mecca.

How did you believe?
                How did you love.
                                How you did live, Mary.

Your life lingers, 
as the dove lights with kind eyes,
as the hush at dusk.

1 comment:

  1. "I know you want a cookie." "I know what you want." What a powerful vulnerable piece. Thank you for sharing. There is so much told without being said between the hushes and whispers. Beautifully written. Gratefully received.