Posted by: gdevi | May 7, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

What I Learned From My Mother

( from   Julia Kasdorf, Sleeping Preacher, The University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992, p. 43)

I learned from my mother how to love

the living, to have plenty of vases on hand

in case you have to rush to the hospital

with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants

still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars

large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole

grieving household, to cube home-canned pears

and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins

and flick out the sexual seeds with a knife point.

I learned to attend viewings even if I didn’t know

the deceased, to press the moist hands

of the living, to look in their eyes and offer

sympathy, as though I understood loss even then.

I learned that whatever we say means nothing,

what anyone will remember is that we came.

I learned to believe I had the power to ease

awful pains materially like an angel.

Like a doctor, I learned to create

from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once

you know how to do this, you can never refuse.

To every house you enter, you must offer

healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,

the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.

Happy Mother’s day to all mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters!

Sunday summer  update: First visit to the neighborhood of the ice-cream van–“Do you ears hang low do they wobble to and fro do you tie them in a knot do you tie them in a bow  . . . .”

First planting of the season: I planted some primrose, lily of the valley, and a mixture of wildflower seeds; the north-side of the house gets little sun, so these I hope will grow as ground cover. K and D put up the trampoline. The apple trees, the dogwood, the acacia trees have all come back up nicely. I can’t wait to turn in the grades and work on my garden; I hope to be done with all my grading by Monday afternoon.  I got these beautiful Appalachian sedge grass that I want to plant along the fence. I fixed the muddy spot that Daisy had dug up. A beautiful morning, a beautiful afternoon, a beautiful evening, a beautiful day!

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