Mother may I remind you of the time we walked 29
“blocks” on the beach of New Jersey’s Ocean City
to lunch at our favorite snack shop? What a pity
that we burned our feet on that hot hot sand
soaking them with water in the shop’s trash can.
Mother may I tell of the times you’d visit us in CA
and housesit for neighbors who had two cats?
You’d never petted a cat in your life, yet didn’t bat
an eye when driving them for their check-up with the vet
with no crate in my car, cats went wild, you had such regret!
Mother may I retell the time you told off the cop
as we drove in my car across the Golden Gate Bridge?
His motorcycle stopped us and how I cringed
as you demanded he not give me a speeding ticket
and “by the way please escort us to our airport trip.”
Mother may I step back in time to our camping trips
to Vermont when I was a child and the family set up a tent
in the woods, the sounds of silence seemed heaven-sent
until in the middle of the night you screamed “Bear!”
and we listened to raccoons eat up all of our fare.
Mother may I applaud you now for your help
when I was soon to get married – no sex talk for sure
But you drove me to a shop with thoughts not pure
as we gazed at flimsy lingerie that made me blush
while you selected items that made my fiancé gush.
Mother may I thank you for all the babysitting
that you volunteered with a smile and a hug
Two little ones two years apart who tugged
your heart as you diapered, read stories, and played
years of Uno and Gin Rummy ‘til your memory did fade.
Mother may I tell you how much I missed
your conversation, your laughter, you’re YOU
as you braved dementia; each day to you was new
My name was a mystery but my love was felt
You kissed my hand as next to you I knelt.
Mother may I say goodbye though from far away
I can’t stroke your forehead or squeeze your hand
A pandemic keeps me from my heart’s demand
So I pray that the spirits of your loved ones long gone
Greet you with warmth and light as you reach a new dawn.