Excerpt – Sally’s Song

Mother was a witch she say, catching me at breakfast play with her “behind eyes.” Her familiar friend a big indigo snake curled atop the hundred-gallon fuel oil tank. She’d talk and bill and coo through her kitchen jalousies. Her prince was warty. A frog whom her Bronx dog tried to stop that […]

via “Excerpt – Sally’s Song*” — richwrapper

“Excerpt – Sally’s Song*”

Mother was a witch

she say, catching me at breakfast play

with her “behind eyes.”

 

Her familiar friend

a big indigo snake curled

atop the hundred-gallon fuel oil tank.

She’d talk and bill and coo

through her kitchen jalousies.

 

Her prince was warty.

A frog whom her Bronx dog

tried to stop that first fiery

wartime sailor’s reaching kiss.

 

Her realm: a three-son universe

for which she suffered,

later endured with quiet pride,

and quietly praised her God

for each Cesarean gift.

 

“You never divorced;

you never went to jail;

you never told on each other,”

her last and highest praise

told to me at evenin’s end one

afternoon of insistent prodding.

 

She asked about “The Lump”

and next I heard her doctor say

“Hey, J, tennis today?”

And I resumed breathing.

 

She saved all our report cards

and second-grade stuff

and quietly rid our rooms

but never did our top and bottom drawers.

 

It was only much later I learned

she and dad

“spelled” us through our lives,

quietly weaving dreams

on their matched backporch

rocking chair starships.

 

She survived that cancer

but not the scoliosis*-scared doctor

who sent her hospitalward

where pneumonia waited

her decades-long dispute

with blood-gas numbers.

 

And she was ready.

Lucid one last time

she awoke before the

crit-care doctor and me –

Mom: you gotta tell them now!

You want no more care

but air and food and water.

I want to keep you here

but you want to go so tell them now

because if you code and dad or I

are not here to protect your wishes

they will stick that tube down  your  throat

and try to save your life.

I would have my way and you would stay

’cause I ain’t through botherin’ you.

 

She smiled

and took my hand,

Grinned at a stone dad

and reached for his

over mine and looked

at that statue too doctor

and whispered:

“What J said.”

 

I flooded inside

and dad stood mute.

I left the room to those two

tykes in rocking chairs.

 

Later, my friend the crit-care nurse

came up and hugged me hard

“Thank you, J.”

And the flood found outside.

 

  • (Sally Claire Feldman Richards had infantile paralysis and went through hell as a youth.  And Hell surrendered.  She had several operations just to be able to have children.  What both my parents did not know – and only later learned after much pain – her suffering was yet to begin.  She was Rhesus Factor negative; Dad, positive.  One B, the Other A.  Her three sons all were Rh Factor B+.  She had 21 units of transfusions for her third child – two months premature – and both survived.  One day I expect her to leave, probably after the last of her grandchildren to depart, knowing that silently stubborn bitch whose wrath could be turned by an ongoing laugh or a simple sinner’s hug. Comes now, Sally’s Song:)

Sally’s Song

 

My mother was a witch, she say,

catching me at breakfast play

with her behind eyes.

Which witch? would I reply.

Red shoes or none,

Dorothy’s Done

and run with the sun.

It rained the night

my mother died.

‘Twas well Earth cried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s The Mucus!”

New study reveals

boogers better than toothpaste:

prevents cavaties!*

 

*(According to some medical – or was it dental – rag the mucus found binding boogers in nasal passages – when picked and of course prior to a thorough handwashing get “accidentall” deliberately consumed, those formerly frowned-upon citizens usually of a tender age though not always tend to present with fewer than expected dental cavities.  Pardon: gotta go pick!)