mom 102107

October 21, 2007

You are fresh groceries picked up just this morning,
delivered right to my countertop
ready for reaping.
You are the crackle and jolt of sausage and sage
cut clean from plastic wrappers
frying fast under careful hands.
You are fried eggs or scrambled, one or two, cheese or no cheese
and the choice between chocolate milk and orange juice
or soda, hell, we got options.
You are barbeque chicken on a Sunday night
where there is nothing left to do but feel full and sleepy.
You are the milk-shake heritage passed down from Meme
your mother,
And you are movies on Saturday when plans are cancelled.

You are standby and first-turn food options.
Yes, I equate you with food, and the best meals of my life.
Our lives run rigid and bloated with all the things we have to do by sundown,
but a meal is still our focus. A meal is still there to save us.
You are the dining room table on which I feast
And you are the couch that holds the same purpose.
You are Thanksgiving and Christmas, the only two meals that take proper thought,
And you are Birthday pies and cheesecake, the only two dishes that take proper love.

You’ve never made me gravy, but not for lack of trying,
and you’ve never made me eat black-eyed peas again,
so I love you all the more.
You heckle me for not liking pesole, but you’ll help me find another meal,
And you never haze me for hating brussel spouts or lima beans
cause you hate them too.

You are meals luscious and full of possibility, full of care and time
full of experience of what works and what doesn’t,
because the food that goes in must set right
The food is words, and you are words too.
Words that travel across cellular waves to save my soul once a week
from the brink of destruction raining dull thuds on my brain.
Words that pull me back from cliffs and gallows
Words that push me up on pedestals and mountains.
Words that create me, and reshape me.

You are the tasty treats of afterschool, Little Debbie is better in your hands,
And you are Halloween Oreos when we lived too far from life to trick or treat anymore.
What a tradition, what a love.

I still find a package of them at my house every year, with you here or not,
and you have impacted me so.
Mom, you are the queen of story-telling, and you are the words and foods of nations
poured in cups and wrapped in cellophane.
When that New Mexico wind wraps the corner and whaps me,
you are the blanket and the water to keep me safe and hydrated.


  1. HEY! Welcome back! I’ve missed you – I was just starting to get worried.

    This is beautiful. I hope, someday, that my children write their ruminations about me in such a way. (oh, and it’s Sunday night, and – no lie – I made barbecue chicken…)



  2. “hell, we got options” – beautifully subtle line.

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