Tag Archives: Mother

Mother’s Day Long After Mother

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Mother’s Day Long After Mother

I feel the promise of rain in the gusting wind,
and in that far off wail of babies tired of the family gathering,
wanting their mothers to themselves.
Mother’s Day in Mexico is a three-day strung-out affair*
stretched out over the motherly memories of Gringos and Mexicanos.

Flowers fill the aisles of Costco and then melt
into the populace, streaming out in grocery carts by the threes
to mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

Pink cakes with chocolate scribbles fill huge center bins at Walmart,
appreciation of mothers being a going commercial concern
all over the chainstore world.

My mother I nestle in my memory like a beautiful uncut gem.
I trim off what ugly parts there might have been.
Rough stone falls away from the faceted center
until there she is, finished, refined in memory,
the way that she would want to be–

every hair in place, lipstick carefully aligned over a silly
Erma Bombeck grin, a small dog in her lap.

Or, better, wipe off the lipstick and muss the hair.
That same dog stretched out,
fencing in her stomach, waist and thigh
as she lies spread careless on the sofa,
asleep, a book having just fallen from her hand.

*By way of a short explanation, Mother’s day in Mexico  is always celebrated on  May 10,  whereas by those expats such as myself who grew up in the U.S., it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, which this year fell on May 12. 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/rdp-sunday-finish/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/motherly/

Happy Mother’s Day, Mother.

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My mother, whose maiden name was  Eunice Lydia King, went by the name of “Pat” Dykstra for all of her married life. She died at the age of 91 in 2001, which means she would have been 109 this year. She kept her youthful sense of humor, her keen wit and her independence for her entire life. I thank her for all of the meals cooked, white blouses pressed, animals trained, constant support, laughter, for creating such a beautiful and secure home and for instilling within me a love of books and rhyme. I would give anything to be able to spend this Mother’s Day with her, floating in the pool and drinking frozen daiquiris, which if I recall correctly, she called “Daktaris!”

Venetian Dreams

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Venetian Dreams

The year we did the Grand Canal,
I came home feeling humble.
My own life just seemed so banal.
My dreams began to crumble.

My life was filled with piety
of very little note.
None of the notoriety
could my First Baptist quote

compared to all the beauty
I’d seen in St. Mark Square.
I felt it was my duty
to be living over there.

I needed no incitement.
My life here seemed so rote.
I needed the excitement
of traveling by boat.

Though it seemed an overindulgence,
I sought to be alone.
I needed the effulgence
of sun shining on old stone.

I could sell my small red Honda,
put my jewelry in hock.
(I had visions of a gondola
waiting at the dock.)

I imagined a “For Sale” sign
in front of my small home.
It seemed a “Get out of Jail” sign.
This housewife sought to roam.

If it sold within two fortnights
I could take off, traveling solo.
I could trade in Sunday sportnights
for a flight to Marco Polo!

I would feel I was at home again.
I’d missed the sights of Venice.
I wanted to be where I’d been,
free from all the menace

of getting three kids off to school
and ironing hubby’s shirts.
I sought to trade the Golden Rule
for romantic nights and flirts.

I’d give up school bake sales
for pannetone and gelato
eaten with Italian males.
“Me First” would be my motto.

I tried to conjure the Rialto,
but I saw the Bridge of Sighs
as my sound track’s rich contralto
assumed a different guise.

“Mommy, Mommy! was the chorus
of my shattered dream.
My stone fantasies were porous,
issuing a frantic stream

of nightmare shrieks and pleadings.
I started down the hall.
My daughter’s midnight needings
my most urgent call.

The canals were left in shambles
as verity flooded in.
So much for fantasy gambles.
My real life won again!

The prompt word today are canal, overindulgence and humble.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/rdp-friday-canal/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/your-daily-word-prompt-overindulgence-february-15-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/humble/

Believe

I can’t answer the prompt “Believe” without rerunning this blog from a few years ago. Go HERE to see it.

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/your-daily-word-prompt-believe-December-21-2018/

Maternal Support

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Because I finally found this photo of my mother that I’ve been looking for for years, I had to put it on my blog.  I just love how young she looks, wonder what prompted her lifting up my stroller, love the depiction of the new neighborhood we’d just moved into that lacked even graveled streets, let alone paved ones.  I’m wondering if she lifted me up to show off her spectator pumps?  Pretty fancy for a mother in a housedress holding her chunky baby aloft complete with heavy metal stroller. This is my all-time favorite photo of my mother and me so I just had to share it. That’s the Masonic Temple in the background, by the way. My mother was 37 years old. I must have been between 10 months and a year old.

In case you are curious, here are a number of poems, essays and stories I’ve written about my mother over the years. Bet you can’t read the whole bunch!! But if you want to read just one, let it be the first one, which gives the most complete view of her.

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/04/25/napowrimo-day-25-she/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2017/04/12/family-secrets/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2017/03/19/the-emperor-of-chocola/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2017/03/02/i-imagine-dverse-poets-prose-poetry/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/12/22/believe/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/09/20/generational-drift/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/01/30/china-bulldog/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/10/17/mommy-talk/

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2018/04/24/elegy-for-eunice/

 

Elegy for Eunice

Elegy for Eunice

Most who might have mourned her
have followed or preceded her to dust.
Those few who still do,
think of her less often every year.
It is only in the fleeting moments
when beauty she might have appreciated
crosses our vision
or a song she once favored is heard
that a sweet pang of missing her
stabs into our busyness
and we remember
how she guided our footsteps,
taught us a gentle way with animals,
prodded us to attain more
and let us go.
This is an elegy to one we have forgotten
too easily and too soon.
One that calls her back to mind,
restores her to her rightful place.

 

My mother’s given name was Eunice Lydia, but we only ever knew her as Pat.  For some reason,, in this elegy, I wanted to use her real name. No doubt she will wreak some revenge for this, so if things start going too wrong in my life, I will substitute her assumed name for the present title. The NaPoWriMo prompt today is to write an elegy.