My Mother

It’s a Saturday night in the neighborhood.  Two doors down young people are partying, laughing and clapping while the BBQ smoke billows.  Across the street Cordell has tried out the bagpipes…still very bad.

Mom and I had supper on the patio:  BBQ chicken breast, Ceasar salad and rice with a bottle of chilled prosecco.  The cat got some morsels and the local hummingbird twitted at us.  Mom got a call from a friend which was nice, so I got out the orange chocolate squares.

We moved to the front porch to finish the prosecco and I invited her to hear me read the anthology piece, ¨My Mother¨ the four pages I wrote for my daughters after the frontspiece, ¨Mother to Daughter, Inspired by Langston Huges.¨

Whew.  Four pages that began, ¨ She became my mother on a summer night in 1947 in a berth car on a train from Frankfurt to Bad Nauheim, Germany.  She was living overseas with her mom and new stepdad who was a sergeant in the Fifteenth Army headquartered in Bad Nauheim.  When she and her lover tangoed in the club, everyone cleared the floor to watch.

When she knew I was in her, she took belladonna and went for a rough horseback ride.  Then she went to a German doctor who threatened to turn her over his knee to spank her and sent her home.

She brought me on a log, airsick flight to Arkansas, to a dinky town where she married my dad.  When I was born in the Search hospital, the nurses showed me off to everyone because they said I was beautiful.¨

I sat on the front porch and read out of the anthology, while Mom sat wrapped in a crocheted afghan.  I read over the laughing and traffic on the street.  In four pages we went from her at age 16 to age 86, moving in with me.  The pictures at the end of the piece show us laughing on one of our road trips, and Dolores working crossword puzzles on our front porch swing.

She laughed and said that, in spite of some historical inaccuracies, it was quite a good piece.

Now I am ready to get my two daughters together to read it, because they are the intended audience.


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