If you can arrange for adolescence
To coincide with your mother’s change of life,
That will yield a certain result.
Further, if you can arrange to be
An only child, that will heighten the effect.
I’m fairly sure she did not mean things
Exactly the way they sounded:
Well, he talks a good game
To my counselor, depositing me at sports camp;
Who calls that music
Of my Stan Getz LP.
Late in life, she complained about a concert
At the nursing home we’d found:
They were terrible, she said,
And I was in it.
Love is more complicated than you think.
Once or twice we smuggled in a little bourbon,
And she’d smile and click the ice cubes in her glass,
As she had done on Daisy Sanders’ porch
On Rust Pond in June of ’64,
And we would joke about
Those days, those bittersweet
Days of home.