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To The Voice From The Ginger Jar

The voice from the ginger jar
is asking questions.
Was I a good Mother?
Tell me.
Tell me do.
It is safe now,
time has passed.
Whisper the truth.
We had summers
filled with dinners
of raspberry shortcake.
There were holidays
when Dad nearly always drank.
Yet still you
decorated the entire house,
so there'd be no mistake...
so we would believe.
With your hands
you crafted ornaments
to sell for holiday money.
If it had not been for your ingenuity,
there'd have been no Christmas,
No Welsh almond cakes of honey.
Together we canned
hundreds of jars filled
with crab apple jelly,
tomatoes, pickles, and prune plums.
You never told Dad
we took his extra set of dentures
to play a game we called "Jerry Lewis,"
then cracked the gums.
We tied your Zsa Zsa Gabor wig
to a ribbon for the cat
and dragged it through the entire house.  
You raised your voice, then
heartily laughed.
You were surrounded with herds of people
nearly all of your life.
Beauty Queen, Dairy Queen, Sorority Girl.
But you were never your husband's trophy wife.
I was never quite anything like you,
but was forever eternally astonished
to find us never quite alone...
For wherever we went...
there was always someone there too.
Somone to remember
and to memorize your face.
to recall your smile, your laugh,
your accomplishments,
a certain moment and a place.
I wonder who is recalling you now...
In a place that is really no place at all,
but a ginger jar,
a hollow,
and a holding cell.
I could never tell
you how wonderful
you could be at times
and have it sink in.
Like a child in quicksand
you were always wondering,
grabbing for a hand,
or a clue
of what was you,
and of where you'd been.
You were and are my Mother,
truest of the true.
Mom, there will
never be
someone who will
ever be
quite exactly like the sum of you.
So in answer
to the voice asking
for some truth...
You were my best,
that is all I know
so, please, do not rue...
Be at rest,
Eyes vivid green
Heart tender blue.

This is a work in progress, a rough draft, perhaps a bit awkward, perhaps a bit long.
I don't usually publish a "fresh" free write. But this is one. I've been thinking of my Mom
a lot lately. So its best to write when something comes instead of not writing at all.

Copyright August 23, 2010
Melissa A Howells

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