This time of year is often like that… too busy. We start classes, sign up for activities, get on the list to volunteer and before we know it, life feels out of control and as untended as a messy room. This poem is a reminder to myself, as much as anyone, to set aside some time for the things that keep me sane.
I tinker with my obligations
before the day begins
shuffling them like Scrabble tiles
considering their perfect placement
on my game-board of hours
plan my drives
to count both ways
combine lists for family and work
to do double duty –
like using X to make OX and AX
pray each move will be efficient
and that I finish well
like placing Q
on TRIPLE LETTER SCORE
followed by U, I, T,
emptying my tray with S
on DOUBLE WORD SCORE
– a microcosm of Your
of my efforts.
Lately the old mothers
have been slipping from their places
vacating strategic positions
in the front line.
A new generation
of matriarchs is needed
to organize the family dinners
the baby showers and the anniversaries
and send the birthday cheques
There’s a call for fresh recruits
a newly commissioned troop
of kneeling warriors
arms raised in petition and praise,
blessing the infants and the in-laws
interceding for the prodigals
alert watch women
guarding the walls of the family
If she had lived, today would have been my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. She died in 2006. My mom died that same year. After her death it hit me: our generation is it now — the one that stands between the youngsters and eternity.
This poem was previously published in Family Reunion.
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