Long, long ago days were a playground, and time was hickory dickory dock.
Loud taunts echoed in my ear, “Step on a crack; break your mother’s back.”
My foot fell on a naughty crack. Later, I looked at you in a hypnotic gawk.
Mysteriously, I didn’t need any fix-you-up glue—knick-knack paddy whack.
Years later, I smiled, recalling your unbroken back as I stepped on a crack.
You and Dad’s favorite albums played crooner Sinatra—dooby-dooby-do.
Dad and Sinatra were Hoboken boys. It was magical watching you dance.
I was ten, gazing at our TV—swooning to step on an Elvis blue suede shoe.
We laughed at censors filming only the waist up. Were ants in Elvis’ pants?
How we loved our scandalous “Hound Dog” secretive hip-swinging stance.
You loved to receive boxes of soft-centered chocolates. I could eat marked
pieces with thumbnail poked bottoms. I still look for your sweet thumbprint.
At the movies, we giggled, sneaking in bags of buttery, salted, home-popped.
You said, “Movie popcorn tastes like cardboard, and it’s not worth one cent.”
Time moves forward, no rewind. Life with you, dear Mother, always an event.
I was caught in one of life’s emotional sinkholes—on a detour to nowhere.
You advised me, “Take time to listen to the birds. They have a song for you.”
On a journey of changes, I discovered memories were lasting gifts to share.
You made bouquets of springtime lilacs and roses—whiffs of time to renew.
Though you are away on the final journey, I still ask, “What would Mom do?”
Mother, dear Mother,
Memories through the years, I celebrate Mother’s Day hearing birdsongs,
eating chocolates, and smelling the heavenly fragrance of roses and lilacs.
I will read these letters out loud on Mother’s Day to bright twinkling stars.
April Ryan is a longtime Washington State contributor who recently got her poem contribution about salmon fishing accepted for publication.
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