Mom Mondays

Nov. 7

I tuck myself in the car with tea and water,
head east 27.6 miles to Mom’s house
nestled beside a state park and a fine lake,
pick her up between 11 a.m. and noon,
drive her to the acupuncturist, then I
walk the park across the street, circling
five times around the playing field—
once an oak-filled corner on the way
to our elementary school—then she
settles back in the car with directions to
the jeweler, then to her new workout
place with dozens of ginormous machines
and buffed patrons (now that her Curves
has closed),

then to lunch at one of her favorites,
where the peppy server greets her
by name—“Hi, Dorothy!”—and brings
her a glass of sparkling wine, then to
the chiropractor for a quick tune-up,
then, when necessary, to CVS for staples—
Moscato, pistachios, cashews, a birthday card—
then home to take up hiking poles and
slowly walk around the block as the
November day darkens early and drops
at long last begin to spit from the sky,

where, in the long months without rain,
I drag the backyard hose to the potted
plants she forgets to water, the ones
my sister and I tidy up on the patio
around Mother’s Day, the ones sitting
in a cluster with a Chinese fu dog,
a small thunderbird totem that our father
put on wheels, a metal peacock in her
favorite blues and greens, not to mention
a couple of flashy spinny things that
catch the breeze and twirl,

as I stand, hose in hand, looking
at the sloping yard our father cleared
of weeds a lifetime ago, planted grass,
installed a couple of rope swings
on old oaks for city girls who
complained about the lack of sidewalks
for roller skating and bike riding,
sisters who took years—decades, really—
to appreciate the gift of a lake and
oak-strewn paths to wander, to be
grateful for this place, these people—
one of them still here in spirit—
who made us a home.

My 91-year-old mom, Dorothy/Darlene Haag, working out at Crunch, Granite Bay.

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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5 Responses to Mom Mondays

  1. Donna Just says:

    That’s our Mom!!!

  2. Sigrid Bathen says:

    This is wonderful, Jan. . .

  3. Kathleen Goemann says:

    Heartwarming! What wonderful memories

  4. Kathleen Kerrigan says:

    Hi Jan,

    That is such a beautiful poem/story about your mom.

    Cousin Kate

  5. Bonnie Flint says:

    That’s my Riser Buddy!

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