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Mother’s Day, 1955 A.D.

The role itself arouses smirks.
I picture mine in a doorway,
slightly stooped, worry-faced,  
hands wringing an apron,
peering at the thing she hatched,
knowing it is about to do
something asinine,
not willing to say it.
 
And I grow irritated
thinking how naïve it is of her
to support unreservedly
this maniacal offspring,
believing if I am evil
that I have redeeming qualities,
and if I am mediocre,
that I am outstanding.
 
And as she trudges about
with mops and pails, pots and pans,
band-aiding my tender ego,
no matter how much I ignore her,  
still proffering bromides
that rankle like burrs,
I find it difficult to believe
this tired, apprehensive woman
could appreciate any gesture
more meaningful than Mother’s Day.
 
So I take her to Captain Bill’s Steak House
and sit with her for an hour
without looking at my watch,
while she, depending on the last Ann Landers,
waxes philosophical or spiritual or modern,
while I grandly pontificate,
knowing that tomorrow and tomorrow
I can bask in her cries of admiration.

(1955)

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