Sunday, May 13, 2018

Ode to My Mother Who Just Missed the Flowers of Mothers Day

Virginia Graham Crumb, 1945 

For Mom

Virginia Graham Crumb

A lot of life—
93-plus years—
A great lot of life—
Born on an August day in 1924
In Ithaca, lakeside city you loved
And returned to
For high school (Class of ’42)
And delivery of 4 kids
Doctor appointments
Dentist appointments
Christmas shopping
Departure on trains
To places where Jack
Was stationed in the Navy—
Memphis, Tennessee
Chincoteague, Virginia
Charlestown, Rhode Island—
Raising a rambunctious baby
In cramped quarters—
I was that wild thing
Running amok
Amid sailors and teen brides—
And then raising two kids
In a rented house
On an isolated farm road—
And then three kids
In the new house
That Jack built
In Jacksonville—
And then four kids
In a bigger house
In Interlaken—
Where you planted roots
For sixty-five years—
Playing piano at the church,
Singing with the Hot Flashes,
Lunching with friends
And crossing kids at school,
Bookkeeping for Jack’s businesses
And for the church—
Hosting an open house
For constant streams of neighbors,
Friends, travel-weary relatives
And strangers—
Who knew the last stop
Would be a hospital in Rome, NY
With a broken hip,
Pneumonia and baffled confusion,
Where you told a nurse
You were home in Interlaken

--Jan Barry