Wednesday, November 4, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

I think of my mother,
small suitcase packed,
the ride down steep
Barre hills to the Catholic
hospital. I’ll have my
first child here she
vowed when the nuns
brought her mother back
from near death, dead
in the newspapers, almost
dead under a cross where
later the nun would
say “you pray in our way
and I’ll pray in mine.
Did my mother think of
her mother on that
day? My father, unread-
able probably in a
dark derby. Did she
think of the man she
truly loved, eloping
instead with my father,
she’d heard the Lipmans
made good husbands
and fathers. Plus, he was
Jewish, had a job.
When I am older than
she got to be, if I do,
will I still long for her
to rub my back, bring me
a glass of water, promise
if I can’t sleep to
call her?

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