When the ladies at dominoes begin talking daughters,
my mother keeps quiet for several months. She listens
to Cynthia whose darling married the no-good
taxi driver from Budapest, Anna whose offspring
quit her perfectly good job at AT&T to ride across
America on a motorcycle, Louise whose baby
was a slut from the crib-and always would be, four husbands!
Francine who had no idea anything was wrong
between her daughter and that musician rock star
until she phoned last night, Mary whose favorite
went to Brown University and never did anything
with her education but have five kids to whom
she was feeding raw milk, hasn’t she heard
of tuberculosis or polio? oh, some hogwash
about straight-from-the-cow proteins which boost
the immune system. When Mary begins to weep
my mother puts her arm around her, whispers
she understands. My mother is disappointed too.
Her daughter is a writer, spreading stories
about the whole fabricated family.
Lois Marie Harrod’s “The Only Is” won the 2012 Tennessee Chapbook Contest (Poems & Plays). She teaches creative writing at The College of New Jersey. www.loismarieharrod.com