February is for love poems. Here are a few in memory of my mother that I won’t be reading at a Valentine’s Day feature this month. February 2nd was her birthday.
Yet I Believe in Her
I’m not sure she had faith in angels,
but that’s just part of the self-doubt
common in housewives of the ’50s.
I believe she’s in heaven even while
the lack of her fills once-empty nights.
It must be true. Otherwise, the song
that keeps me awake couldn’t sound
as sweet as this, not even to her poet.
Since We Didn’t Have Digital Cameras in 1971
icycle-yanking, snowball-hurling, finger-inhibiting
woven warmth. So when my brother Frank called
this morning, his still-shocked voice growing warm
from our current of mutual blood and gut-wrenching sorrow,
I thought about mittens. The pink ones she knitted that matched
my white pearly buttoned vest. Dress mittens for school days.
I folded them away in a once-photographic memory album,
then pulled out hand-me-downs used to pack snow
and to hold on to dear life as my big brother,
little brother, and I–in joint fits of insanity–
pretended to be a three-man bobsled team.
We zoomed down Deadman’s Drop then,
assuming if we cracked up on Rockford
Momma would put us together again,
Band-Aided and mecurachromed.
We have no sledding photos,
so I get a new image
to keep each time
I see her face.