… but maybe I’ll get use to this.
Mr WordPress on I miss my Live Space…
… but maybe I’ll get use to this.
A reposting of Zach’s Mother’s Day Sonnet and the Garrison Keillor essay (originally published in Salon.com) that inspired it…
A Mother’s Day Sonnet by Zach
You must have known well what you were in for,
when you had the both of us, lee and zach.
nothing but a constant ache, pain, and sore,
yet you still trudge on, and never look back.
its in your nature both kathy and mom,
to put up with two lousy no good sons.
to have both our lives resting in your palms,
the weight of your tolerance must weigh tons.
it sure must be hard being so selfless,
though sometimes not obvious, we do care.
and through the bad times you must feel helpless
but though we grow apart, the loves still there.
so enjoy this mothers day, have your fun.
you sure deserve it with me as a son.
not being a poet and all, im not sure about the rules,
but I hope you enjoyed it nevertheless.
Happy Mothers Day! – zachary
Mom’s the word
The woman shelved her movie-star dreams to change your putrid diapers. This Mother’s Day, send her a sonnet.
By Garrison Keillor
April 26, 2006 | I’d like a word with you about your mother, and I want you to read this column all the way to the end, otherwise I will slap you so hard your head will spin.
I realize that Mother’s Day is a fake holiday perpetuated by the greeting card industry and the florists, but it’s here to stay, so make the best of it. The president is a fake, too, but we still pay our taxes. And it’s time you did something nice for your mother.
I bring this up well in advance of Mother’s Day so you can plan a little bit and not roll out of the sack on SUNDAY, MAY 14, and fritter away the morning and then dash over to Mom’s and on the way pick up a cheap box of chocolate-covered cherries at the gas station, or a gallon of windshield cleaner, or whatever you were planning to give her.
Cheap chocolates are not appropriate for your mother, nor is a bouquet of daisies marked down 50 percent at the convenience store. What you owe your mother is a sonnet. A 14-line poem, in iambic pentameter, rhymed, just like Shakespeare’s "When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state." Look it up. You can do it, if you try.
Your mother loves you, she has loved you from Day 1, she loves you on your good days and your bad. She was on her way to Broadway and Hollywood was taking a look at her when your father got her in a family way and she put glamour and fame behind her and had you instead. Think about it. All that pain, and then out you came, not the high point of her day, believe me.
She changed your poopy diaper when the stench was such as to make strong men dizzy. And when you hopped up and ran off, leaving a brown trail behind you, she mopped that up, too. At a certain age, you put everything into your mouth — dirt, coins, small toys, cufflinks — and when she stuck a finger down your throat, you refused to vomit. Nothing would come up. All she could do was pour Listerine in you and hope for the best. But if she tried to coax you to eat green leafy material, then you would throw up quarts of stuff. And she’d clean it up and take you in her arms and comfort you although your breath was rancid.
You were not a bright child. I realize that you think you were in the accelerated group, and that was your mother’s doing. Her great accomplishment was to protect you from the knowledge of your own ordinariness. The rest of us knew. You didn’t. Nor did you realize the extent of your bed-wetting. Three a.m., you sat in a stupor, while Mom changed your urine-soaked sheets, tucked you in and sang you to sleep with "If Ever I Would Leave You" from "Camelot."
She loved you through the dark valley of your adolescence, when you were as charming as barbed wire. You surrounded yourself with sullen friends who struck your mother as incipient criminals. Her beloved child, her darling, her shining star, running with teenage jihadists, but she bit her tongue and served them pizza and sloppy Joes, ignoring the explosives taped to their chests.
When you were 17, when other adults found you unbearable and even your own aunts and uncles looked at you and saw the decline of American civilization and the coming of a dark age of arrogant narcissism unprecedented in world history, your mother still loved you with all her heart. She loves you still today, despite all the wrong choices you’ve made. Don’t get me started. Go write your mother a sonnet.
It costs you nothing except some time and effort. Do not buy her chocolate. She doesn’t care for it. She only pretended to, for your sake. Do not take her out to dinner. She has eaten plenty of dinners with you and one more isn’t going to be that thrilling. She might prefer to snuggle up in a chair all by herself and watch "Singin’ in the Rain" and have a stiff drink. (You do know your mother drinks, don’t you? Ever wonder why?)
Get out a sheet of paper and a pencil. Here’s an idea for a first line: "When I was disgraceful and a complete outcast." You take it from there.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
It’s April. Last year at this time, I had just met my man and was having the "time of my life" in Hoewell, a small community outside of Huntsville (near Bedias). The story of our meeting is charming and our time together has been mostly charmed. During this year, my son Zachar has been "doing" his senior year with some carelessness and an odd abuse of his newfound freedoms. Still, I have no fears that all will be well with him… he’s like that: focused and committed, but a hopeless procrastinator like me. Also, my son Lee had some very bad episodes and one tragedy. In another blog, I wrote about all the kids who have died – hoping that these tragedies would end for a while… not so for my little family. In the fall, Lee was crossing a street with his friend Becky when she was hit and killed by a truck. Zach was there. Their dad, Louie, Mona (Louie’s mom), and I arrived shortly after. I thought this would surely be the end of my troubled boy. After Mike’s suicide, it almost was. But, he’s come through stronger in many ways. Still, there are concerns, but they are mostly his and I’ve pulled back considerably.
On January 7, I was placed on "administrative leave" while the district conducted an investigation into an allegation by a student that I hit him. I did not return to work until March 18. By this time, I had not been in my classroom to teach for almost 13 weeks. Paid leave sounds not so bad, right? Well, it was awful. There were secret meetings taking place that could have cost me my teaching certificate. Though I did not do this to any student, I could have been arrested. CPS could have gotten involved. There was no relief from my fears until my lawyer and I met with the school district and demanded a new investigation. Though this investigation cleared me of that allegation, several areas of concern were raised (though trumped up) and I was ultimately reassigned to an alternative school campus where there is little control of students and little education going on. The daily struggle to get past student threats, etc… is tough.
Meanwhile, I had to go to the high school yesterday because Zach’s mouth had gotten him into a little trouble. A little trouble became more trouble and he ended up with a much deserved citation for "failure to attend". In a separate issue, the teacher who started this ball rolling seemed to have a vendetta against him. The irony of me having to call parents every day because their children are calling me a mother fucking bitch and this woman failing to call me at any time this year was overwhelming me. Walking into a principal’s office with my youngest for the first time since Zach was in intermediate school and having that principal bring a police officer was troubling. The teacher spoke to me as if I had not been teaching myself for 21 years. I completely understood Zach’s frustration thoughtout this year though I do not understand how he could get himself into trouble over attendance.
Today, though, on April 26 of 2008, I find myself grateful for all I have and all we’ve come through.
This will be a good year.
|how bout a cup of coffee or lunch to get to know e |
46-year-old in Bedias, TX (and only 21 miles from you)
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Hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but I do LOVE this poem!
Poem: "Heaven on Earth" by Kristin Berkey-Abbott , Whistling Past the Graveyard.
Heaven on Earth
I saw Jesus at the bowling alley,
slinging nothing but gutter balls.
He said, "You’ve gotta love a hobby
that allows ugly shoes."
He lit a cigarette and bought me a beer.
So I invited him to dinner.
I knew the Lord couldn’t see my house
in its current condition, so I gave it an out
of season spring cleaning. What to serve
for dinner? Fish—the logical
choice, but after 2000 years, he must grow weary
of everyone’s favorite seafood dishes.
I thought of my Granny’s ham with Coca Cola
glaze, but you can’t serve that to a Jewish
boy. Likewise pizza—all my favorite
toppings involve pork.
In the end, I made us an all-dessert buffet.
We played Scrabble and Uno and Yahtzee
and listened to Bill Monroe.
Jesus has a healthy appetite for sweets,
I’m happy to report. He told strange
stories which I’ve puzzled over for days now.
We’ve got an appointment for golf on Wednesday.
Ordinarily I don’t play, and certainly not in this humidity.
But the Lord says he knows a grand miniature
golf course with fiberglass mermaids and working windmills
and the best homemade ice cream you ever tasted.
Sounds like Heaven to me.