Saturday, June 2, 2007

Peanut Butter for My Mother

I am washing peanut butter off a knife when I realize that my mother has washed her last dish. What a tempting thought. To never wash another dish. To never do housework or laundry. Or anything that you don't feel like doing.

Of course, that may be a bargain with the devil. My mother has traded much.

She will never drive again. Or write out her Christmas cards, go to K-Mart with my sister, eat in a restaurant. Or roll around in bed on a hot summer afternoon naked, with a man. Though, I guess I don't know that for sure.

I sit on the lawn where we played croquet, in front of her house, wave to her neighbors, get mail from her box. I stand in the kitchen where she stood on the old yellow floor she was so proud of, looking out the same window at the pond where she swam, and the garden where her father weeded vegetables. I sleep with the dog in her marriage bed.

I can open the window to the sun and the breeze she has been denied, walk up the shadowy road where she strolled with my father. The city girl who became a country girl for love.

The telephone rings and I answer expectantly. She will never answer again.

The sky has grayed and thunder sounds. Eli is nervous, hugging my leg. We have finished our peanut butter sandwich. Maybe next time, I will make one for my mother.

Counting the ice

No comments: