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A Mother's Day poem by K.A. Nuzum


On Mother’s Day, a Thank You, Mater

 

Oh, Mater, thank you! 

Thank you for being ever

a gently rocking cradle for my creativity

and never a slamming door.

 

Thank you

for typing all my manuscripts when I first began to write books in third grade,

transforming my slanting-cross-the-paper,

hand-printed stories

into

Times-New-Roman-12-point-

black-and-white-one-side-only pages;

nothing said or done could tell me more clearly that

my stories were important.


Thank you

for introducing me early on to authors like A.A. Milne,

whose opuses helped teach me

the storyteller’s voice.

Thank you

for not pointing out to me how heavily

I borrowed from that literary giant

in my seven-page book, Norman’s Escapades --

the story of a clinically depressed donkey.

You understood

how effective a teacher

imitation can sometimes be.


Kathy's Book


Thank you, Mater,

for reading me a bedtime story each and every night

and always letting me choose the book. 

Thank you especially for letting me so often select

the Disney picture book of Sleeping Beauty

thereby ensuring that my writing would expand and evolve

to draw not just from the garden of childish dreams,

bright with innocence and roses,

but from Grim(m) Disney’s dark and fearsome well of

black-scaled dragons,

poison thorns. 

Myriad nightmares that woke me in the wee hours (ages 5-8),

that left my

heart pounding,

my stomach churning

from futile efforts to escape Maleficent,

flourish still in the fertile,

shadowed corners of my unconscious mind.


 Malificent


Thank you, Mater,

for showing me how to make a happy ending

after 

I plotted and executed high crime.

You always kept a can of tuna on hand to feed

the occasional kitty I kidnapped on my way home from school. 

The yellow-striped,

or gray-striped,

or black-with-white-socks feline,

that I lugged home in my arms,

always dined like a king, not a kidnap victim, in our home.

And thank you,

for driving the cat,

at the end of the day and the bottom of the tuna can,

the cat, round-bellied and reeking of fish

back to the scene of my crime,

where I would carry him from the car,

set him gently on his own front stoop

and bid him farewell.

The kitties’ families never the wiser were, but I was.


Thank you

for forcing me to go to church and Sunday school

every 

single 

freaking 

week of my life

for my first sixteen years,

thus providing me not only

a spiritual path,

but broad knowledge

of Western culture’s base,

bedrock for my stories.

 

And, Mater, thank you

for indulging my attraction for

plot twists,

surprise,

and fame

by allowing me

(and my equally diminutive chums)

to ride to school

in the trunk of our hulk of a Pontiac. 

It took only the first time of our popping out of its rear end instead of the back seat,

for whispers to start and

rumors to spread,

and from that day forward,

there was always a waiting,

expectant,

cheering crowd curbside

when you pulled up before the front doors of Martin Park Elementary.

Car


 

On Mother’s Day,

for these and a thousand other acts

of love and recognition, Mater,

for opportunities deep and wide

in which to learn and grow my craft,

many thanks and much love.

 

K.A. Nuzum

 

 

 

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