it’s been a while since we talked.
When was it? Yesterday?
So, I wrote a poem about that time
in the hospital when…
You know, when you told me,
“Don’t cry — all moms die”,
I sent the poem to a journal.
Guess what the editor said —
that it’s a cliche and cliches don’t sell,
and to accept his condolences if it’s true.
Well, who knew…
Don’t worry, Mom, all is well.
Let him take his condolences and his pay to hell.
I forgot — in America people don’t die.
They rest in peace or at least pass away,
straight to heaven, of course —
it’s polite, it’s what you’re supposed to say.
Dying is awfully rude — it’s an unspoken taboo,
a cliche everybody pretends
they would never go through.
By the way, ”through” at the end is another no-no,
although some say it’s a myth, even Pinker says so.
But as I’m not a native, my preposition at the end
would be considered nothing but an ignorant trend.
Never mind, Mom, I digress.
What? No, I don’t stress.
Yes, of course, everybody’s well.
The kids? Doing great.
Says who? When did I yell?
Ah, you heard me. It was nothing at all.
Just a little argument over a stupid show.
Yes, you’re right. I’ll do my best.
To be patient like you? That’s a good laugh.
No, nothing, Mom. Sure, I’ll give them love.
We all miss you.
The pain is not getting less.
I did it again — sorry, I always digress.
So long, Mom. We’ll talk again soon.
We both know you’re not in heaven
but in your grave with Dad.
Right, you’re both dead,
and yet you’re always with me.
Oh well, I’ve got so many,
editors note: From "as a newborn babe" to "as a doornail," it's all cliche. (We welcome Irena back to our crazy conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her page - check it out.) - mh clay