It was the fifties On rue de la Peltrie The street of gingerbread houses And bad spells. I played hockey in the street And wore a sailor boy suit And you always had your foot On the gas. You were mobile, An Independent Woman Before this became fashionable. O Mother I hardly knew you Beyond the hysteria and mental chaos. I imagine you were making cancer inside you As you cooked us liver and fried onion For supper. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. I realize now how you needed to step beyond the housewife dance you did so Reluctantly. You should have joined the circus instead and taken me with you. I would be standing around watching you prepare for your freak show. You are donning your make-up in the mirror And our eyes meet there Fleetingly but forever. That would be a memory worth keeping. But, no It was all about you in crisis Or in bed howling From a chemotherapy reaction, The picture of Jewish misfortune. Why couldn’t you have been Anglo Saxon with airy eyes and a tight sphincter? Yes, Dear mother, You were all spunk and Girdle fat. My friends thought you smart When you paraded your caring side At Steinberg’s. Did you ever get around to killing anyone with that cucumber you carried? I turned out fine. Thank you. I have the scars to show it. And I see you in everyone who wears a skirt. There is even a picture of us beside me now that I gaze at occasionally And wonder who was that sunny boy Once upon a time, He must have been quite the Cut-up. So, you see, I have never let you walk away from me. I carry you like a portable radio That punctures my inner ear Through girlfriends and Emergency rooms Your admonition Has prevailed to stop any accidents. I owe my life to you, mother. You were once “mumsykins” to me, I remember that .