Of Mother

I remember two-year-old me

bouncing on the ratty queen bed

in my grandfather’s basement

throwing a rock at my mother’s TV.

She had found the rock who knows where,

but she collected odd things like that.

Whatever reminded her of vast open spaces

where Indians ran free.


She came out of the bathroom

in a puff of steam, smelling

of cheap, green, Irish Springs,

and I thought nothing of the horror

dawning on her teenage face.

All my thoughts were on the “chink”

like magic

of the rock against that domed glass.


But I knew the moment I heard her alarm.


The precious stone from open spaces

was snatched from me. The TV

still working hard, forever scarred,

forever changed by my presence.

But the glass was sturdy.


I expected punishment;

I knew, though did not understand,

that I was in trouble–those white dents

in the glass

were because of me.


But instead my mother sighed

and put the rock back,

still glittering with quartz,

and returned to the bathroom,

to the moist Irish Spring cloud

to finish getting ready

for work.

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