Kay – First Mother-in-Law
(1900 – 1995)
My baby & I willed your words: Et a banarna.
You and I orphaned, you mothered me –
how to bathe baby, extend casseroles.
Widowed, you rented out bedrooms,
knelt to scrub the greying linoleum,
served Sunday stew and peach pie
in your salmon-sided home, that
paint on special. Old-style believer,
you denounced the English service,
loving Latin’s mystery, cried over
your son entering the priesthood,
also when he prodigal-ed home: no
more insider special blessings.
Despite my divorce, you dubbed me
Good Mother, but decreed me Not
a Drunk after my confession –
aware your son also tippled. You
called his new wife, my name.
At age 95, you phoned farewell.
We said: I love you (Ego te amo.)
Katerina Fretwell‘s sixth poetry collection, which includes some of her art, Angelic Scintillations, is forthcoming from Inanna Publications and Education, Inc, April 2011. Two of her poems are forthcoming in Descant‘s Uncanny/Ghosts issue #152.