My poem, Mom, is in Issue 9 of call me [ ]—call me [ when you get home] . U of Alabama Creative Writing. Here is the poem:


lived to 97
on “curl your hair”coffee
and a carton of smokes a week.

She ate eggs with butter
and bacon and bagels
and rye bread smeared

with chicken fat.
The cakes she bought
were so packed

with calories
they bulged
in their boxes.

She’d have thought you
nuts for substituting
yogurt for ice cream.

Mom avoided doctors
having been shown
by her mother

that chicken soup—
with matzoh balls
could cure most anything.

She thought the Olive Garden
the height of luxury
and beamed like the Queen

of Persia
over a plate of spaghetti
and glass of red wine.

A house full of cousins
and a deck of cards
was her idea of heaven.

They’d play penny poker
for hours—weaving mythic
stories through the smoke.

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