Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A poem for 3 Word Wednesday

3WW January 16, 2008


awkward kitchen obsessed

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Standing at the sink
in our kitchen,
hands submerged
in clouds of suds,
I hear my dad
sit down at the table
behind me.

I know why he’s there
and his disappointment
in me seeps across
the old linoleum,
climbs up my legs
and perches on a rib
near my heart.

It’s Mother’s Day.
I’m maybe eight.
I made a card for my mom
in school but forgot
it there. I figured
I would remember
it on Monday
and give it to her
when I got home.
So instead
of wishing her
a happy Mother’s Day
and explaining,
I’ve avoided her eyes
all day.

Every time she glances
at me with a hurt look,
my eyes dart away
awkwardly, like fish
avoiding shadows.

My father’s words
are soft chamois
cloths that polish
my shame
until it is so bright
I can’t see
the dishes I’m acting
so obsessed about
getting clean.

He leaves
as quietly as he arrived.
I finish the dishes
and go out to the porch
where my mom
is sitting.

I feel
the softness
of her apron
as I bury my face
in it
and the strength
of her arms
as she holds me.

17 comments:

Regina said...

Dear friend your writing about Mother's Day is so wonderful: so heartfelt, so simple, so tender and revealing! It took me back.
You need to publish girl!!!
Regina

susan said...

beautifully sad.

Sherry said...

Profound words usually come from our soul. That you are remembering this event and telling it now...and what comes through is the mother's love...no matter what. Beautiful.

tumblewords said...

Aw. Bittersweet and surely well written. Tender and touching.

pjd said...

As the father of an 8-year-old, this hits me right >here<. Very nice, with some good images. Especially like the apron on the mom when the girl did the dishes, and the voiceless dad who communicates without having to say anything.

Unfortunately, little boys need a little more direct communication. Like a swat on the head and a loud, "Duh, go tell your mom Happy Mother's Day!" :-)

Jujee said...

thanks for sharing, that was a warm recap of the event.

Tammy said...

Powerful piece and I loved

"climbs up my legs
and perches on a rib
near my heart."

Really good!

Heather Kathleen said...

sad and beautiful. and familiar.
(((hug)))

paisley said...

oh i loved it... and i too draw on memories a lot with the 3ww prompts... bone is terrific at coming up with just the right words!!!!

mariacristina said...

Linda, this is a wonderful poem. Hee's my favorite line:

My father’s words
are soft chamois
cloths that polish
my shame

You were so little! I'm sorry you felt so bad on that day. You describe a sweet, sensitive little girl, who has grown up into a poet! Well done.

Truefaith1963 said...

Lovely poem Linda - the second stanza is just wonderful.

Sandy said...

How terribly moving. In hindsight I can see how our little hearts take everything so seriously but I know as your Mom must have that to you every day was mothers' day.

S

gautami tripathy said...

Mother's love engulf us, no matter what...

Christy said...

truly tender and touching piece of writing

TC said...

Seems to me it was a bit fitting that your Mom was the one comforting you after you'd hurt her. Isn't that what motherhood is about? Unconditional love.

etcetera said...

Amazing. I love, love, love the second stanza!

LittleWing said...

ohhh, so very very beautiful...i love your daddy...

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