When he went away and left you

He left me too

And we lived together

You and I

One woman     one child

And I wanted to grow up

To love you both

But you’d come home

From a job that drained you

That made you curl up tight

Inside yourself

I knocked and I know

You tried to let me in

While he went away

And sent letters of love to me

And I cried to live with him

I didn’t understand


My best friend told me this

People say your mother

Has a chip on her shoulder

I didn’t understand


Believe me Mother

When I tell you

I don’t remember

That time in your life

When you were ill

When your legs were weak

And you used a cane

When your eyes saw double

And the threat of disease

That would waste you

Hung over us

A girl of fourteen

Awake     awake     whose eyes

Could see     whose brain

Could think

But Mother I don’t remember

I just don’t remember



We are healed now

And the years between

Have made us friends

I need you Mother

When you die

No one else can care as much




When we have had a



It doesn’t happen often

You know


I feel I am in a

Foreign country

Landing on unfamiliar


From some far away


Not knowing who I am

Where I belong


Feeling unlike myself

Inside the depths

Of mind   of body

My heat remaining



It is not the words

My dear Love

I do not remember


Do not listen to


My distress rides

On the tone of voice


To speak the words

My Achilles heel

Returning me to


I remember hearing

In childhood

That put me on the defensive

So     around     around     around

We go     you and I

Then     it ends


It takes a small time

For me

To come back into my familiar


Like stillness

After a storm passes

Before a bird begins to sing



Poem For Our Fifty-Eighth Wedding Anniversary


June 17, 2014

Here we are
My Love
At the very edge
Of our fifty-eight years
Of married life
Ready to step through
The wide open door   
Into our fifty-ninth
Such a wondrous journey
It is
Each era of our lives
A canvas
Filled with all colors
On the spectrum
A color wheel of hues
Brilliant   vibrant   penetrating
Every minute   every hour
Every breath   every heartbeat
Seldom dimmed
Oh the gratitude
We feel
The blessings Spirit
Gives to us
Like grains of pure
White sugar sand
Too numerous to count
But name them we do
Our prayers of thankfulness
Hold them close
And you   my Love
Allow me to find
My truth
Of who I am
Accepting me
As I am
As I do you
Our love grew
While we grew
Truly children
When we began
We are like the Rose Garden
In full bloom
We pass on our way
To dinner
In the Monterey dining
Every flower
Beautiful   perfect
Unique on its own
Together   together
They are the garden
The Rose Garden
In all its splendor

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time.” –Maya Angelou

MomBlogAliceArnold50s 1

This photograph is of my beautiful mother, Alice, and my wonderful stepfather, Arnold, just after they were married. The image depicted took place at a club in downtown Chicago. Arnold’s large Stine family, and Alice’s small Wolbach family gathered in this rather fancy city club called the Standard Club to celebrate their marriage. Of course, Stephen, my adored husband, and I were there. None of our children, however, attended; they were too young to be dragged out of Waukegan where we lived, and into Chicago. (Waukegan’s claim to fame: the childhood home of Jack Benny, who had been a friend of Stephen’s family.)

It would have been late in the evening, and it was a forty mile drive, so none of Mama and Arnold’s grandchildren saw their wedding vows and participated in the festivities afterwards. I don’t remember too much, except that I wore a short blue dress. The Standard Club had a tradition when there was a special event to have the waiters march in with the dessert, which for the wedding reception was a flaming baked Alaska. This procedure, which I had witnessed on more than one occasion, always sent me into a paroxysm of giggling, which grew very difficult to suppress as the waiters advanced around the tables.


This unfortunately was not the only time or place giggling overtook my composure. One evening in Orchestra Hall, again in downtown Chicago, Stephen and I were with my grandmother and my Aunt Bea in a smaller room, other than the large auditorium. It was a string quartet and one of the selections was a very modern piece–atonal, I called it. Well, the window overlooking Michigan Avenue was open; it must have been a summer night. There was a long note played by the violin held for quite a while, and at the same time–the exact same moment–a taxi horn sounded on the same note the violin was holding. That did it for Stephen and me–we hadn’t liked the music at all, and this taxi horn sounding the same note as the violin was too much to bear. We both went into a paroxysm of repressed giggling, which meant our shoulders began to shake with the effort of holding in our laughter. Aunt Bea gave us several looks of intense disapproval, which only made us shake more violently.

It was embarrassing, I will admit, but there is nothing that can stop a paroxysm of suppressed giggling–it has to subside on its own. Eventually, it did.

Thanks for the memories! This is such fun!