Mama

by Sister Kay McMullen, SNDdeN




My mother comes back from her errands up on the Avenue.
She is wearing her favorite dress. It has soft blue and white stripes
and the full pleated skirt swings as she walks. She is very pretty.

I’m roller skating up and down our street under the hawthorn trees
and my skate key dangles on a dirty string around my neck.
My new yellow shorts are a little big for me and there are bandaids
on both knees. I’ve lost the red ribbon from one of my braids.

Mama plays with the braid while she tells me about
the green and blue plaid she just saw up at the fabric store.
There is a pattern, too, for mother-daughter dresses.
Would I like that? The next week when she has enough money
we both go up on the Avenue and buy our new plaid.
Miss Anita gives me a bag of scraps. Each colorful piece
is plenty big enough to make a new doll dress.

I want to hurry home and get to work, but first
we have to go to the dime store and the supermarket.
Then she gets coffee at Ozzie’s and I get an ice cream cone
while we wait for Mr. Beretta to fill grandma’s prescription.

I lick my ice cream wishing Mr. Beretta into a hurry
while Mama talks to Ozzie and Marian who sells the cosmetics
and the lady from the library who has the day off.
She’s having coffee too. I have library books at home still
so at least we don’t need to stop there today.

I want us to hurry so I can get going on the new dresses
that my dolls really need and Mama can lay out the pattern
and get going on our twin dresses. Something in me
can hardly wait to be just like her. She is so beautiful.