Verses for Mother’s Day, Part 2

Today I watched Pearlie play T-ball.
After soccer, Aviva threw up twice
and rested on the red couch all afternoon.
I told her that the only good thing
about her being sick
was that I get to take care of her,
and in a way,
that is the best Mother’s Day present
ever.

Last night, 24 hours gone. A lifetime in a day.

Tonight, they’re both asleep peacefully
at eight o’clock.
Best Mother’s Day present, ever.
Snuggling, Aviva inhaling my t-shirt,
the thick cotton one that says,
Coffee is my best friend,
that I’ve had since I was nineteen,
making lattes at Some Crust Bakery in Claremont, CA.
“It smells like the olden days,”
she whispered, the ibuprofen kicking in.

Coffee is still my best friend,
as is the man who made these girls
with me,
and the woman who hits baseballs
in my backyard at dusk,
and the neighbor boy who couldn’t remember
if Pearl was a he or a she,
and the couple next door, married fifty years,
who watch over us,
who walk slowly up and down the dead-end
street three times a day,
and the guidance counselor who invited Pearl over
to ride bikes with her boy in the driveway,
the last light of a spring day,
the purplish sky,
a cold cloth on a child’s brow,
the smooth bodies after a hot bath,
half the park under her toenails.

Your feet tell a story, I told her,
the story of playing T-ball and making new friends,
the story of riding two-wheelers
and sharing snacks and running barefoot
in the muddy grass.
We washed away all the stories.

Best Mother’s Day presents ever:
Aviva.
Pearl.

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