Letter to My Mother
On my last antiquing trip I bought a vintage ballpeen hammer
like the one we used to crack hickory nuts when I was a boy.
The earthenware red Hall casserole for baked beans I found earlier,
and your yellow milk pitcher from a small shop on the East coast.
I managed to acquire Granny’s set of dishes from your estate,
and two quilts that you pieced and tied in the nineteen-thirties;
Cousin Cathy agreed to let me buy back your dining room table,
your revered piece of furniture that now shows the hard wear of time.
And by the way, I think I could still do hand stands in a swimming pool,
and I’m pretty sure with practice I could again ride a bike no hands,
and if I chose a tree wisely, I might climb it to the top while you watch:
Look, Mom, look! Watch me! See what I can do, just for you! Look!
Gary Jones is a writer and teacher who lives near the UW-Platteville campus and summers with his wife of many years in Door County. His poetry appears in journals and anthologies, and most recently, will be posted at the International Crane Foundation headquarters in Baraboo. His memoir, Ridge Poems, is being published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.