My Mother Suzie, Honorable Mention in Greater Cincinnati Writers League 2014 Annual Poetry Contest

Written by RitaC on November 20th, 2013

My Mother Suzie

Now I understand why my mother was like she was,

Why our house was laundry piles in the kitchen,

Dirty ashtrays and coffee cups lipsticked on the rims.


My mother ate life.

No knife and fork poised over an entree.

She gulped, ran a paper napkin over her mouth.


And talked! How she could go, a rhythm known only to her

And her girlfriends: her sister Mary, Ruby from Georgia,

And the Suzie wanna-be’s she moved into our house.


She was too busy to read and mangled words

Like some mothers sewed.

Chrystianthums. Polyurtheline. Lopers. (to trim branches)


My mother was loud. She was embarrassing–

Discussing my first bra on the streets of downtown Dayton

Where strangers were privy to the development of my breasts.


Yet when anyone needed a defender, she stepped forth

In her bold-tongued way, wearing costume jewelry that clinked

As she gestured with hands that dipped and arced like finches.


My mother ate life, spicy and grilled,

Laughing to doubled-over,

That sideways look in her eyes.


Leave a Comment