AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN
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.
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
Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
I realize now how
you needed to step beyond
the housewife dance you did so
You should have joined the circus
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
That would be a memory worth keeping.
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?
You were all spunk and
My friends thought you smart
When you paraded your caring side
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
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
Has prevailed to stop any accidents.
I owe my life to you, mother.
You were once “mumsykins” to me,
I remember that.