Ma & Me

I wear these jeans like my mama showed me
how you fold up the cuffs evenly
and not too high, capris are for summer
and shoeless spring gardening in the mulch
is how she was at her best. Full of life:
Still green tomatoes and sprightly veggies
who couldn’t stop growing if they tried
as if trying to dazzle Ma and me
by being clearly bigger by the day
like the son and brother we wished for
him to sprout when summer came around,
the teachers won’t even recognize him
come Labor Day
but we didn’t ask the seasons to change
or for the soil to dry out
or for the showers to go on for days
and days must’ve passed before she was well
enough is enough, I one day yelled
more at God than anyone else.


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