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