I wrote this poem a decade ago for my mom, but never showed it to her. So, mama, I post it today, an ode to the awesomeness that is you, the classiest woman I know. Happy Mother's Day!
My Mother Preparing Dinner
She pauses to say hello when I come in
But is unable to let herself slow down, as if she somehow has lost the ability,
Lost the long sigh that accompanies a longer break, a quiet space between time.
She no longer watches television, because it requires being still.
Her hands move in rhythm, patting and squashing, peeling and turning.
Her eyes see the children, running and yelling;
She calms them before they disrupt her cadence.
She listens about the play I saw; the blue opaque glasses are set next to the plates.
She listens about the day I was sick; her feet spin to keep up with her hands.
She listens and listens and scurries, and the evening carries me,
Sitting silently at the table, watching, basking in the little details,
Like the scuffed kitchen floor, the browning bananas, the copper skillet sizzling.
For twenty minutes we are across from one another
And then the room seems to close in on her,
Or perhaps it’s the night music
That makes her unstoppable, unrestrainable,
Dancing to the symphony of running water and tinkering silverware.
And I know you don't have a copper skillet, mom. It's called "poetic license."