chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Mother’s Day

first Mother's Day jik-DAKIt’s my first Mother’s Day. I’m three months old; my mother is 37. Neither of us look entirely certain about the arrangement.

In my baby book, Dorothy has already noted that I “grew high and wide from the beginning,” that I was “unusually greedy for food” and that by the time this photo was taken, she had already added cereal to my formula because I “was always hungry.” Though it’s hard to know what she might have imagined about motherhood, this was more than she had bargained for.

It took her a long time to realize that neither she, nor I, could go back. The clock would not be unwound; her carefree life could not be recaptured.

Her hope for that miracle persisted, but, to her enormous credit, she became Mommy. If her enthusiasm for the role was limited, my father and Dr. Spock offered balance and direction. I thrived, grew high and wide, and learned to tread lightly.

I’m grateful — for all she did right and all the many, many things she could have, but didn’t, do wrong. Still, I wish that somehow she could have had the life and happiness she wanted.

found poem: Today

rewrite

1940s Dorothy in foxIt’s impossible to know if Dorothy was posing and happened to be caught mid-blink or if she was resting, eyes closed. She’s in her 30s, at the height of her glamour, and her expression shows contentment and the pleasure of knowing she is admired. I imagine her dressing with great care and attention, putting on bracelet, high heels, lipstick and jacket in readiness for some celebration.

The Doberman is unfamiliar; I never heard Dorothy mention the dog, though it appears in several photos from this period. Perhaps it belongs to the person who has been tending the grass and the potted plants. Or the person who is taking the photo.

The picture isn’t perfect. My grandmother’s shadow hovers in the foreground, where it would remain, literally or figuratively, for the rest of my mother’s life. And someone has thoughtlessly left a sack of cow manure next to the garage.

But we can fix that. Tell the story any way we want. My mother did. Airbrushed the scars from her story. She might have preferred it this way:
1940s Dorothy in fox, version 2By the time she was my mother, Dorothy had abandoned, with lingering regret, the glamorous life she had known. She inhabited her new persona: artist, wife, intellectual. (Mother.) The fox jacket (previously mentioned here and here) was permanently abandoned to the closet.

She never sat in the sun though she was always cold, longing for the warmth of a forbidden love, for the heat of admiration.

found poem: yearning

found poem: gray

in today’s mail

Pilgrimage MagazineVery pleased to have two of my poems — “cave drawing” and “Some of What I’m About to Tell You Is True” — included in Pilgrimage Magazine, Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 47-50.

found poem: the grueling

found poem: MORNING

found poem: Write