“RELUCTANT MOTHERS”

She came
from a long line
of reluctant mothers,
squishing out
birthday cake frosting;
Sucking off nitrous oxide.
Parenthood comes
ready in a can. Just put on
your apron and open up a
Betty Crocker cook book.
Pull off the twist topper
and blow out your wish.
She came
from a long line
of THIS sort of woman—
who secretly thanks GOD
after her KIDS move away
and daddy falls OFF the roof.
This will be the last X-MAS
with blinking lights
and electric bills.
From now on,
she will DO her own thing
with her own time.
She has raised a family,
played opossum for a man—
and now she is READY,
coming from a long line
of reluctant mothers;
To tune her dial
however she desires.
She is in control,
ripping up every recipe;
Selling off ALL his wooden boats;
Trashing the Sanka jars,
filled by remnants
of his nuts and screws.
She never understood
HOW
she let herself become
LIKE
all the others in her long line
of reluctant mothers.
But at least now,
she is released from all responsibility—
and the toilet seat
will never rise up against her again.
Just then, the phone rings.
It is her daughter’s voice
reciting the announcement
of pregnancy.
She will not be
the last
in this long line
of reluctant mothers
after all.
“I should have warned her,”
she thinks—
while dialing the radio to 98.3

narrative poem written on 11-15-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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