Sunday, May 13, 2012


My mother used to say
"You'll fall and break your neck,"
With uncharacteristic hope in her voice
Like gilt edging on a pendant.

It made me want to fall and break my neck
Just to please her.

It made me want to hold on vicious hard
Just to vex her,
And so I could get down and dance like a Hottentot
Around a pot of missionary stew.

So, last night I was up on a ladder hanging a picture;
I had little nails in my mouth,
A big old honking hammer in my hand,
And my foot on a banana peel.

Fell and broke my neck.
Who's gonna feed my dog?

Anyway, no nursing home for me.
I was looking forward to being in decline,
Losing my fucking mind,
Grabbing the orderly's ass and saying,
"Hey Dreamboat. Come and set a spell."

What could they do to me?
Hire a shark lawyer and sue?

I wanted to ask all the nurses personal questions.
I wanted to wheel down the hall like the runaway Number Nine,
Making train noises and peeing in a bag.

These beautiful dreams that ne'er can be,
Roses forever left unbloomed;
How melancholy the dubious hour
When Desire's crimson comes to ruin...

Ah, what shit!
Somebody else will get my apartment,
After I circumvented the waiting list
By finding out who I had to kiss.

My mother used to say,
"You'll break your neck,"
And the bitch was right.

I return to my body in an access of spite,
With my stupid neck at ninety degrees--
Annnnnnnnnnnd, we're back! Just like that.
Happy Mother's Day, Frosty,
From your serpent's





hedgewitch said...

Dark and full of unexpected seriousness beneath the sarcasm--how we as daughters internalize all our mother's spoken and unspoken projections/expectations to our own peril. Children want to please as badly as adults want to fight back, I guess. And thanks for cheering me up with your picture of my future in the Home. ;_)

nene said...

Wow!!! This deviated a little from traditional applause of and on Mother's Day. I love your heart that's filled with truth. In this piece I welcome sharing your personal and subjective take on this celebrated day. Definitely was a moment well spent in a cyber-space

Gracias mi amiga

TexWisGirl said...

you made me laugh. and wonder about you. a lot! of both. :)

(no human kids for me.)

ellen abbott said...

excellent. I get tired of all the sugary sweet sentiment.

Kerry O'Connor said...

It's hard to live up to such limited expectations, but it can be done. Just as well we have a different set of expectations for ourselves, which circumvent the self-fulfilling prophecies of the past. We have free will and intellect to thank for that.

I love all this glut of lilac on the page!

Helen said...

Kind of makes me regret all those times I was really nasty to my mom! She always forgave me ~ took me longer to forgive myself.

'I wanted to wheel down the hall like the runaway Number Nine, making train noises and peeing in a bag' ~ love that line, I've witnessed it!

Lynn said...

Oh my! My mom used to tell me I was going to get hardening of the arteries because I ate so much butter. It hasn't happened yet though, but there's still time. Of course, I quit eating a lot of butter, too. There's that.

cloudia charters said...

" Making train noises and peeing in a bag.

These beautiful dreams that ne'er can be, "

I'm out of superlatives. Me like a LOT. YOU good VERY!

Mother's Day always upset me; all the talk about what your mother does for you and how she treats you - just highlighted what my life lacked. Yet, I spent time with her yesterday and we laughed. I've got the nervous system and shortened telomeres she made for me, but when she's gone, part of me will be inacessible, highlighting my own impermanence. How she behaved is on her. How I behave today is my freedom - shortened telomeres and bottomless young teats not withstanding. Send me an invoice for therapy!

Making train noises and peeing in a bag.

These beautiful dreams that ne'er can be,-


Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } (°>

HermanTurnip said...

You make old age sound like bizarre adventure. I, personally, will from now on avoid bananas and all banana-like products. Oh, and ladders.

chloe said...

It was plastic bags. She was deathly afraid of them. But, then again, she was the one to plant the suggestion. Have to admit, it was irresistible. I put my head in one just to see if there was any basis. For anything she said.
For her it was suicide at 80 as a final jab. That didn’t work either.

Love this poem and your fortitude!

Daryl Edelstein said...

'and if you end up in hospital, no one will come visit you' .. 'if your face freezes like that, no one will love you' .. ah yes, comforting and ego boosting ..

Timoteo said...

Love the sentimentality for mom...made me misty-eyed.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yay! I can always count on for a poem with a bite in it, and for an alternative and more realistic view of the occasion at hand. Love the train noises and peeing in a bag - cant wait, hee hee.

Lolamouse said...

Love your unique take on Mother's Day! I am looking forward to being a crotchety old woman-I'm already crazy, so that's taken care of!

Mama Zen said...

You have the most wicked wit. The "looking forward to being in decline" just killed me.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I appreciate the honesty and humor of this. Liked the language "big old honking hammer" that's zactly how I talk. Loved the image of dancing like hottentot around the pot of missionary stew. Another delightful romp through the corridors of your mind. Thanks Shay

Shawna said...

That picture is so cool.

"Somebody else will get my apartment" ... I was totally expecting you to write "git."

Margaret said...

Mother's are sure they are right... I find myself telling my daughters "this and that" will if happen if they do "x" ... and often I am wrong. Don't give them enough credit OR am thinking they are ME with my limitations perhaps? ha. Usually, they tell ME I CAN do things ... and they are often right! :)

Must say... I LOVE that dress and blue glasses in your top photo ... my artistic daughter would love it. The kitty stole my heart (I have a black tuxedo and she greets me in the morning like that when I wake her up. :)