Angela Mankiewicz, 01/12

The Orange:  My Mother At 101

My mother waits for me,*
this time on a thickly
stuffed chair,

painted in mostly blue
to highlight the ice
of her eyes.

She is in no hurry
and has much to occupy her,
these unmeasureable spans
of possibly passing hours.

Again, she chooses the orange,
watching him roll it toward her
but slant;

she sees her small self beaming,
toddling after the treat.

She picks up the orange and caresses its skin,
to have something to do,
while she waits.

Eventually, I will come.
She is sure of it and if I don’t,
she will wait a little longer.

She is in no hurry
and has much to occupy her.

 

The Orange II – My Brother the Fool

My mother waits for me,*
this time on a static-colored chair
to match the pewter of her hair;
her feet are crossed on an ottoman.

Again, she chooses the orange,
watching him roll it toward her
but slant;

she sees her small self beaming,
toddling after the treat.

My brother the fool, not witted enough
to be Lear’s jester, leapfrogs the orange
and lands on my mother’s feet.

She hisses like Frankenstein’s Bride
and he dissolves, with the orange.

Some mothers have insatiable patience;
mine is not one of them.

She has much to occupy her,
these unmeasurable spans
of possibly passing hours,

and may forget that I
am on my way.

 

The Orange III – My Grandmother, the Sample Maker

My mother waits for me,*
this time on a sickbed, diapered,
like her mother was,
but silent and unhappy.

She does not see her daughter
like her mother did, to tell her to
cook something for these people,
so good to me all day, they must be hungry.

Instead, she sees the orange
and chooses it again, watching him
roll it  toward her,but slant;
she sees her small self beaming,
toddling after the treat.

My grandmother, the Sample Maker,
is pleased that her child pleases him,

he who accepted her 28 yearold  hand
with grace in a land as indifferent to his near-
disgrace as to her pride in an alliance
unattainable where both were born.

Her pride respects his name; his heart
respects her work when he no longer can,
when his name no longer offers land or title.

My grandmother, the Sample Maker “was no bother to care for,” my mother
reminds me and I agree.

“You, are not my grandmother,” I remind her
while she picks up her father’s orange
and tears at the peel.

She is in a hurry and has nothing else

to occupy her, these measureable spans
of impossibly passing hours, waiting for me.

 

*Line from Michael Dickman’s “The End Of the West”, APR-May-June/08

Promote. Poetry.
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