In My Life by Marjorie Schwartz. I had the book made for her many years ago, and it is now one of my favorite keepsakes.
What's interesting is that since my parents died, seeing their handwriting has always made me smile. But, seeing my mother's typed pages does as well. Years ago, I helped her choose an IBM Selectric II at a local typewriter store. Each week, mama sat at her desk (which had been my grandfather's desk and is now mine), and typed (in triplicate with carbon paper between the sheets) her weekly column for a neighborhood newspaper. But, over the years she also typed hundreds of poems, some of which we'd find in our lunch bags at school, and my father would find on his pillow when he went to bed at night.
When I was a child, my mother's poems made me laugh, smile, and sometimes tear up. They still do.
do you have the problem of a middle child?
the consensus is...you do
if you've an older one and a younger one
psychiatry says you're through.
in our house...the big one
is the very first grandson
and the little one's precocious and wild
but...our one in the middle plays the fiddle
and her charm has us completely beguiled.
I Miss You (for my father)
It's almost 3 years
And your face is beginning to fade
And the plans that we made
I have finally laid to rest
But those 45 years
Were the best
And even though your face is dimming
And you are gone and I am living
I miss you...
with every breath I take.
Would It Be Right? (November, 1992)
Would my children find it shocking
If, for Chanakuh, I brought their children
An absolutely smashing Christmas stocking?
Mama (December, 1975. This one was for my grandmother.)
If I had know you were going to die
I would have hugged you and kissed you
and said goodbye.