Sunday, September 4, 2011


I sit feeding my mother, and I wonder, "Time, where have you gone?"
Are you hiding among the rustling leaves that were scattered on our path home from school?
Are you quietly listening under the bed while we friends talk softly and giggle?
Or are you just around the corner playing hide and seek with us?
You were just here a moment ago

Are you still picking up pop bottles along the road
So we can sell them for 2 cents each and get some candy?
Did you sneak into the soda fountain uptown
To treat yourself to a cherry coke
In the refreshing air conditioning that we lack at home?

Are you concentrating on Walter Conkrite's Special Report?
Did he really say that President Kennedy died?
Do you have a lump in your throat
Because Walter lost his composure on TV?
Oh, no! Time, have you stood still for a moment?
That moment that we'll all remember where we were?

Are you waiting for us to finish watching The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and stop screaming?
Are you secretly watching my friends and me practice our Motown backup girl group?
Did you tire of watching us attempt to make fudge night after night until we got it right?
Or are you waiting for us to watch Friday Fright Night with you?
You were just here a moment ago

Did you slip away as weekend after weekend
My best friend and I lay on my bed listening to music on the radio
And talking for hours about boys?
She was there so much that she was practically family,
Calling my mother "Mom" and, as a rule,
"Hating"my younger sisters almost as much as I did

Are you hiding in the closet
While I'm desperately searching for
Something special to wear to the dance Saturday night?
You know...those white shorts are my favorites
And a short sleeved sweatshirt is a must
Because that is a "must" for any girl this year

Time...when did my father grow old
Was it when I was dancing the summer nights away as a teenager?
Was it while I was making a life of my own?
Was it when I was struggling to live with my own pain?
When did he get sick and die?
He was just here a moment ago

Time...when did my mother become a child again?
Was it when she had nothing to look forward to anymore?
Was it when she spent too much time alone?
Was it because she had too much on her shoulders?
When did we reverse roles?
She was just here a moment ago
@Joanne Kennedy 2011

1 comment:

  1. Such a poignant writing Joanne...It is so sad we have experienced the same dreaded disease in our mothers.