Her obsession with Mother Goose,
& Dove candy wrappers
gave her life not only cadence
but a sticky sweetness
that made every day a Friday
with a 5 o’clock shadow.
She let her daughter watch her read,
to show that it was fun.
She let her watch her write,
to show that it was hard work.
She let her watch her write letters,
to show that handwriting still mattered.
She let her watch her
make Christmas cards & bookmarks
& all manner of 2-D textured art,
to show that creativity
didn’t always happen in front of a screen.
She let her watch her exercise,
to show that movement,
in whatever direction,
was the way to a better life.
She let her watch her bake,
to show that good things—
like cake flour–
could come from a box.
She let her watch her eat vegetables,
to show that,
when prepared properly,
they were delicious.
She let her watch her watching her,
to show that the little things she did
were of interest to her.
Her mothering wasn’t just
in the lessons she told
but in all the words
she did not say.
She’d battled acne & algebra in her teens,
only to battle wrinkles & job insecurity in her thirties.
Her twenties had been that interlude
& being of advanced maternal age—
when she had floundered
in the DNA soup of uncertainty
that crashed inside her,
sometimes drowning in her own blood.
Then the surprise child—
a gift from God through His patented design—
had snapped her out of her dreamlike existence,
& it was then,
& only then,
that she began to fully live her dream.