some of my most difficult memories involve my mama, although many of my very best as well. the older I get, the more I know she did absolutely everything in her power to get the raising of us right. I think about how she craved a certain kind of simple life and was forced out into the world with two people to feed and clothe and teach manners to even though she was barely over thirty when she became a single mom. then there were those wicked fights that made the bones in your arms and legs hurt from exhaustion – all that love in the marrow trying to make itself felt under everyones tired weight of fear. despite the hard years, the good ones outweigh them 10 million to 1.
this is a poem I write about a few things I remember from our drive out of washington state to missouri the summer before I turned 11.
although she’s not in my life, she is a giant here, always. love you, mama.
The Motel Pool Matched the Color of the Sky, 2002 – 2017
Don’t forget Wyoming, Utah, Kansas, Shoshone, Thunder Basin, Pawnee, the KOA’s with grass trimmed so neat and don’t forget the showers you can buy for a quarter, dusty spider webs clinging to the window screen. Don’t forget who taught you how to cool your skin in the breeze or that your mama dripped love into flour and water and yeast and don’t forget the tomatoes she left peeling in the garden that split in the heat. Don’t forget you prayed once to Our Lady of Rolling Rock and Tequila and a smile so wide she’d get away with stealing. Don’t forget the blackberries near your neighbor’s house, a U.S Army Vet, and don’t forget he gave your mama roses when you moved in.
Published on Maya’s personal blog, Wild Geese