Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Oh ma, for months on end I'd do my bad Peter Lorre imitation, no matter what you'd say I'd reply "I want to smaaaash your face," in his sneery voice, my passions left you bewildered, your rages fed my own, a big fight you letting loose your great primal fire upon me, oh but I was brave, we were in the kitchen, I pulled a knife on you and said if you touched me I'd kill you! And you just looked at me in that way you had until I looked down at my hand, saw fierce grip on humble butter knife, oh well.

I was at work that Sunday, got the call, got the call, went home, packed, flew back to midwest, they buried you on my birthday, your last laugh, you knew I always forgot dates, oh they said you had no great life, what a failure, no money, burdened by ironclad pride, silent treatment grudge queen, victim of illnesses and grief, of misunderstandings and fears, they said oh what a hard life, yes a hard life but if so, oh ma, how could they be right when I saw them at your funeral, those women who knew you 50 years, the white brightness about their heads, their goodness, how could they be right when we all cried like little children, with no shame, at wooden box sight of you gone away, gone from us, no they were wrong, they didn't know, couldn't see the 10,000 things were only ephemeral accomplishments, the money and prestige.

Oh the week would go by, you would be so mean, so terrible with your angers and moods and I would plot your demise with guilt free glee so sure was I in your utter indestructability, then Sabbath came, you would light the candles, say the prayer, calm peace, faith shining from your veiled face, it was a mystery, you were too far away for me to catch and destroy, oh a mystery.

And if I were good I'd do the rituals for you but I'm not good and I'm glad and I know you are, too, I saw your pride when I would fight you, your hidden glee you had raised a worthy opponent who would perhaps break free, tell 'em all to go to hell, I saw it and I still see it, and you, and your light still shines, ma, it still shines, I miss your cabbage soup, your laugh, and your mean old ways.


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