Friday, April 10, 2009

National Poetry Month: Day #10

At Easter, I always think about my late mother. I try, sometimes, to approximate her holiday cooking, but I always fall short. I think I do better at writing poems, like this one from April 8, 2001:

Palm Sunday

Each year she made us walk
to the white clapboard church
at the end of our street,
freezing or frying
depending on the whim
of weather and the way the moon
struck the calendar.

I wore my school clothes:
scratchy wool jumpers and scuffed
brown shoes with frayed
laces to remind me I wasn't as good
as God expected me to be.

My sister was always pulled
together better: a crisp blouse
and maybe even slacks
if it was cold enough.

We sat on either side
of her on the polished wood, aching
for hymns to break
the boredom and digging
for tissues in her purse.

We thought a lot about next Sunday:
crisp dresses and glimmering
shoes, hats and baskets, perfect
pictures on the patio.

After, we'd spend
our energy scampering back
the way we came while she
followed, cradling another year
of protection in her hands.

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