jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Things My Mother Taught Me, or: Self-Portrait Not My Own

Ironing is good for wrinkled curtains.
Wrinkled curtains are a sign
of a bad woman.
A bad woman
throws butcher knives,
not at a carnival,
but at her blondest daughter.
Go blond for most of your life.
Go back to your roots
at fifty.
At fifty
get your ears pierced.
If your husband says no
to piercing your child’s ears,
wait until he says yes.
Do not wait until he says yes
to go out and get a job.
Go out and get a job if you want
your own money.
Give your own money
to whomever you please.
The door-to-door
Catholic school kids,
the hitchhiker on the mountain,
the single mother stranded
in her attic by a hurricane.
Pray for hurricane victims.
Pray for your grandparents.
Pray every night.
Now I lay me down to sleep.
Never wait at the window
for your mother to come home.
If the neighbors sent her away
because she was loose
go out and find her.
Do not cry.
Put on an apron,
tighten the strings.


I haven't written much about my mother. She is awesome. Maybe that's why. No pain, no angst. I'm a lucky girl.

We are alot alike. Maybe I've written about her the whole time. Hmmm...

We spent a lot of time together while my dad was in the hospital. She told me many, many stories. I hope I get them all into poems.

Maybe I'll move on to the Mother Diaries.

My dad is on the mend. Hooray! Thank you everyone, for all of your prayers and good thoughts!

I feel kind of at a loss now for poetry fodder. I had never written about my dad, save maybe once or twice, before this. He sure did provide inspiration. Who knew? Too bad he'll never read any of these. Nope. He just wouldn't get it. And that is fine by me.

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Blogger distracted by shiny objects said...

So happy for all of you. Please give your dad and mom a big hug from a total stranger:>). Sorry we shall be missing the saga of drug runner patient. I know...my life is boring.

10:42 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

Will do! The latest on drug runner is he was moved out of ICU, but heis not doing great. That's all I know. I feel so bad for his mom. She seems like such a nice woman. And kind of bewildered by it all.

I will try to provide you with some interesting stories, ok? Maybe I'l write about my dad showing me his gigantic scar. Private parts and all. Oh my gosh. There is no age where a girl should have to see such stuff. I couldn't avert my eyes fast enough. Damn that ICU psychosis! But what a huge incision. From under his arm pit to his belly button.

He's going home to the local hospital for rehab. Not sure how long he'll stay there. It's a small town in the Adirondacks. Might have some interesting stories!

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the neighbors sent her away because she was loose go out and find her

what great lines!!

2:19 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

I really like the way you've written this - such excellent images and tied together so well too

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Jo said...

Glad your dad is on the mend. Stellar ending here.

6:51 AM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

Some interesting and brave lines in this.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous christine said...

i know what you mean about dad not getting it. Mine wouldn't either. It would have to sound like a Hallmark card.

This poem is a whimsical study of a strong woman. I love all the contradictions and turns of direction. Very honest and lively.

and you are lucky to have a mom who likes you as a grownup too.

I'm glad your dad is mending. A big relief.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a loyal reader, the knives surprised me. not the knives, exactly, but their target. i expected a husband. an ex. but the blondest daughter. aaah! what has the ICU done to my sweet, endearing friend?

i'm kidding of course. i like your dark side.

5:29 PM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

true story...in my hometown there was a mom (not mine) who had three daughters and rumor had it she threw a knife at her middle daughter, the blonde. my mother always referred to her as a home devil/street angel.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

I think I am getting to be more like my mom. Thats what she taught me!

child to love?

11:03 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

what an eclectic mix of mother truths... i have rally enjoyed getting more familiar with your writing style since napowrimo....

6:55 AM  
Blogger Jan Doble said...

your poem is fascinating...so many twists and turns leave room for continuous contemplation and speculation! i'm glad your dad is going to be ok!

ps did i ever tell you that i went to shenendehoah central schools in 7th and 8th grade, and i lived in colonial green, in clifton park?? (that was back in 1970 and 71)--you may not even have been born yet!! at the time, i had cousins who lived in delmar. small world!

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I love the language here, surprising, assertive phrases.

7:55 AM  

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