Friday, September 16, 2011

My Matriarchal Mama

When I was in the seventh grade,
My teacher was a formidable woman.
She had a presence that I craved;
I felt like her favored one.

When my little sister would come knocking
On this teacher's classroom door,
She'd gently call for "Little Mother,"
When she could have been angry, I'm sure.

My sister had a stomach ache
Because she was always scared;
Her big brown eyes could never fake
The terror that was in her head.

My teacher would allow me to
Calm my sister and go call our home,
But then I'd have to leave her
In the office all alone.

I never forgot this teacher's kindness,
Or the fact that she was so brave
In standing up to my bullying brother,
Which put my mother in a rage.

When I went for my first job
As a recently divorced mom,
She was secretary to my boss,
And managed to keep me calm.

So many times she's been there for me,
Like a angel with her flaming sword.
I knew that I only got the job
On this woman's positive word.

Now she is recently widowed,
And her son has passed away.
Her daughter is a full time nurse,
But I have time to play.

She fixed for me a luscious lunch,
And gave me leftovers to take away.
She sets a lovely table,
In a proper New England way.

I know I should be cooking for her
After all she's done for me.
But she so loves doing for others,
I had to let this be.

Her words of wisdom and her wit
Are such a welcome gift to me,
When I get to be eighty-six,
She's who I want to be.