Because I Was That Kind of Mother

Blasted Elvis Costello, had breakfast for dinner,
shopped at Goodwill, with a loud laugh, messy hair.
Once forgot where to pick you up after school.

You experienced wind blown snow and cold
until, yes I found you.
You forgave me.

Because I was that kind of mother
early riser, bike rider, said no, made things,
threw accurate snow balls,
gave up making my bed at 40.

You longed for order and predictability,
joined the Marines.
I started making my bed again.

Because I was the type of mother that went to bed at 9:00
taught troubled kids, repurposed junk, stared at the moon,
loved to camp and drink wine.

You learned to navigate through Frick Park at night
led by owls, avoided the cliffs and night persons
until you learned to drive my car without a license.
I forgave you.

Because your brother loved chaos, getting high,
dirty socks, lived-in clothes, bologna, and Velveeta
you learned to cook, iron your own clothes,

learned constant vigilance, loved unconditionally.
Because your brother was impossible to contain
you were bottled and aged.

Because your brother was not expecting to die
we felt his presence for at least a year
until we stopped calling him,
you from Iraq and me in my slippers.

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