and again

Posted by jeresk on October 3, 2008 in My Mom's Poems |

on the six hour drive to fairbanks

she tells me


about the labor pains and birth

of each of her six middle-aged babies.

i’ve heard these stories all my life

but, unlike my stories,

hers never get better she does not drive

with poetic license.

she lives them


the young pretty dark bride

who kissed her panamanian papa adios forever

and followed her soldier boy to see the civilized world

and parts of georgia.

she says to me:

and your father went speeding on his little motor scooter

to meet me at the hospital

when i told him the water broke and

my friend was driving me but traffic was so so slow!

she says to me:

and then!  you were coming out!  and i was yelling wait!

and i could feel you coming out! and then you know what!

i say to her:

you were sitting on my head.

she says to me:

i was sitting on your head!

and you know i think that’s why you have curly hair

your hair is so pretty why do you straighten it?

you know when i was a girl i wanted curly hair

so i went to the beauty shop

across from mama’s fruit stand

but you know what happened!

i say to her:

they burned it.

she says to me:

they burned it!  the lady forgot me and left me in those

electric chemical curler things for you’ll never guess how long!

i say to her:

five hours.

she says to me:

five hours!  but anyway i was sitting on your head

and racing to the hospital and who do you think

we saw hitchhiking on the side of the road?

i say to her:


she says to me:

your dad!  that motorcycle was always breaking

down and we pulled over and we all go to the hospital

just in time and he just loved looking at you

he just cried to look at you and you know

what he loved best?

i say to her:

my curly hair.

she says to me:

it was that curly hair.  he just loved

those curls.  i can still hear him laugh

to run his fingers through those curls like they were

a toy he never got tired of like you had a head

full of slinkies remember those silly toys


she says:

have i told you this one before?

I say:

no ma.  no.  tell me


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