My New, Funny Old Mother 

My New, Funny Old Mother by Freya Manfred 

Will I ever be as funny as my mother at ninety?
I hope so, for everyone’s sake, especially mine.

This woman, who swims, learns Spanish, cooks for herself,

and works Thursdays at the library – this very Mother –

burps after every bite, wets her pants, washes them,

sports a hearing aid that screeches carols,

and says, “Whatever!” to whatever happens,

when in the past she didn’t trust much good

would come of anything, or anyone,

and often pointed to what wasn’t working

to preserve her worried soul from what could soon go wrong.

When we said, “See you in the morning, Mom!”

she said, “We’ll see about that!”

But now she says, “That would be nice.”

Relieved of my dreams of perfection, I can’t stop laughing,

gently, softly, when her hearing aid syncopates her burps,

and she asks, “What? What’s so funny?” – giggling –

because she knows I love her as she is.

No changes needed. Nothing to fix.

“See,” she says, “I told you. Everything’s fine.”
“My New, Funny Old Mother” by Freya Manfred from Speak, Mother. © Red Dragonfly Press, 2015

Little Bonhoeffers

I refuse to tell people who a Christian, because he or she is a Christian, has to vote for or against in order to be a good or even a real Christian.

I think in the current situation many see themselves as little Bonhoeffers who must rid the land of Hitler before he comes to power. This tells me more about their vaunted view of themselves as authors of their own version of the Barmen Declaration.

Our Borders, Our Selves-A Talk I Recommend

I listened to this talk by Frances Stonor Saunders on the Open Source podcast featuring Chris Lydon. It is a piece of first rate communication with sophisticated insight, absent cliches. I disagree with the author’s pro-illegal immigration position, but her reflection on borders in intriguing.

One thing I did not know was that before the 1900s there virtually no border control anywhere. People essentially migrated to where they wanted to live. She explains how border control came to be and what it means about the kind of world we now live in.

I commend the talk to you.