Friday, March 13, 2009

What She Taught Me

What She Taught Me

For Mom

She taught me knitting, sewing, Teeny Tiny,

and reading every night before you go

to bed. She taught me how to make things for

people you love. She taught me how to make

stuffing by letting the butter and chopped onions sit

on the stovetop overnight. She taught me how to

make spaghetti from scratch

and that leftovers make a good meal and that pets,

even messy ones who come through the screen door

during thunderstorms, are part of the family.

She taught me that it’s more important to bake

fresh cookies or to read a book that

have a clean house. She taught me that having piles

of books around your house is decorating and that wearing

a flannel nightgown until noon doesn’t mean you’re

lazy. She taught me that you invite people over

if you’re lonely. She taught me how to always

believe you can fix it yourself and to keep on learning

and that when you go on vacation you should

stay with relatives. She taught me that cookbooks make good

reading and if you don’t have what it calls

for, you use something else. She taught me that hunting

down a good deal and taking a long nap in the afternoon is

the only exercise you ever really need in life.

When my dad died, her husband of more than fifty years, she

taught me that you cry but you go on. You go on living. You keep

the ashes in the window sill, you tell stories about the memories

and you laugh and you cry. But you keep on living.


Anonymous said...

Today I cried when I read your poem. I love you, dear daughter.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful! You are a gifted writer and it is a loving tribute to your mom.