Although I previously published a version of this poem, I revised it with a certain precision—in keeping with my mom’s handiwork. A science major turned homemaker, she lived joyfully and creatively.
I opened cereal boxes upside down
And absently stuck them on a fridge shelf,
Defying the precision strokes of my mom,
The domestic engineer of measured cups
And chocolate chip dough teaspooned
In perfect circles on scarred cookie sheets—
“After all, cooking is chemistry”—
Wielder of pinking shears zigzagging
On the bias of sensible school-dress cloth.
I fingered the lines of ebony rickrack
Tracking the collar and pockets
Of a black-and-white-checked hand-me-down,
Freshened with new pearl buttons
And plumped by stiff, lace-trimmed petticoats;
I scratched at whispering crinolines.
My mother never cut, creased, and turned origami,
Yet showered my youth with the luck of one thousand cranes—
A healing storm of happiness.
Thanks for reading, Greg!
Lovely sentiment for this beautiful mother’s day.
Happy Mother’s Day, my dear, talented friend!
Well measured verse for a well measured mother. My own mother could neither cook nor sew, but she was still nice enough to spoil me. Your poem happily brings up memories of my mother’s mother, who had your mother’s skills in spades. She was a tough one, and weaponized the Bible, but one taste of her coffee cake and I was her undiluted devotee.
Thanks for reading, M. D! Do you have the coffee cake recipe? My mother’s sour-cream poundcake, made with double-yolk brown eggs, drew many devotees.
Who else would “pink up” memories of rickrack and crinoline for Mother’s Day? Just perfect, Catherine!
Merci bien, mon amie! Bises.
My mom also sewed for her girls. She also made origami swans for us and we got to dust their wings with glitter. I thought they were magical.
That is so cool–your mom making origami swans! Thanks for reading!
A lovely poem, as minimalist, precise and crisp as origami.
Your poem filled my heart on this Mothers Day! Shes smiling on her beautiful, talented daughter! We need a catch up chat my friend!