So, I’m trying to write a Mother’s Day poem that recalls a significant shared memory but doesn’t sound like a Hallmark card. This is my initial effort–
Beneath an Oak, Thirty-five Years Ago
One afternoon when I was young,
you took me to a brown patch of dry soil
along our driveway,
along with a handful of plastic animals
and toy cars. You gathered twigs,
planted them upright in a circle and said
Let’s play zoo. Then you drew roads
with your fingers, carefully:
This is where the cars go, to make sure
the animals are taken care of.
It blew my mind,
how you made fallen tree parts into props for the imagination.
How you made
time to play. With me.
You taught me:
Embrace your imagination. Never forget
where you come from. I remember relish trays
filled with olives and cheese and sweet baby carrots
before Saturday Morning Cartoons, and
who was there with me
as we escaped a burning home
together. I remember
who has been there, always.