Mom's Story

75
(4/24/10)


you
would have been
one cool
old lady

already
by 65
you had kicked
most social conventions
to the curb
and adapted
your own quirky
notions
of quality
and success

you knew
that friends
and family
mattered
most

beyond those
everything else
was a silly game
and anyone
who played
was not
to be taken
seriously

you
would smile
compassionately
when any of us
would get caught up
in the madness
and melodrama
of modern
life

you
would tell
us to sit down
talk about it
relax
and have
something
to eat

you
would smile
again
shaking your head
when our agitation
would refuse
to accept
such a simple
solution

you began
to take trips
with your friends
to exotic places
relishing the experiences
a Nebraska farm girl
finally free
from Midwestern
morals

you realized
that a man
was at best
a good dance
partner
his usefulness
diminishing
as he wandered
from the ballroom
floor

you dressed
in plain
no nonsense
conservative
outfits
but when I cleared
your closets
in the end
I found
gaudy prints
garish colors
and sparkly
party gowns

you had
planned
to bloom
in retirement
not realizing
that it would be
an ending
not
the beginning
to a new
carefree life
that you had
supposed

we think
of you
today
on your
75th birthday
ten years gone
but still
with us
every day

we think
of a wild
old woman
in orange
and green plaid
dancing in the park
on an early
Spring evening
kicking up her heels
and laughing
at the ridiculousness
of it all