Mom's Story

CHRISTMAS 1957
(7/9/11)


she sits
there
in a photograph

a young
woman
of 22
upon a table
in a Legion Hall
celebratiing
the holiday
surrounded
by her mother's
family

that fall
she had
committed
her first born
child
to a sanitarium
100 miles away
after finding him
the winter before
in his crib

stiff

blue

barely breathing
at 8 months old

an otherwise
very healthy
baby

then
in and out
of hospitals
for almost
a year

getting larger
but not really
growing

no Mommy

no Daddy
ever spoken

meningitis
they finally say
but no one
really knew
back then

3 months
after the picture
was taken
he'd be dead

a few
months later
her mother
would die
of cancer

after
2 miscarriages
her next
child
would
finally
arrive

these things
however
she didn't know
as she smiled
to the camera
trying to be cheerful
on that Hell
of a holiday

one tough
lady
she would
smile again
for real