Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Julie Eger

My Motherís Doves

We didnít know until she gave us the pictures,
those professional photos of herself, for Christmas,
this, the woman who could smell a camera coming
she, who could duck behind a counter quicker
than anyone I knew in order to dodge having
her picture taken. My sister and I figured it out.
Mother was dying, and this was her way of telling us
because she wouldnít talk about death.
When we confronted her, she said
sheíd made her decision four months ago
when they gave her six months to live. No more
cutting, she said. Iím doing this my way,
and if youíre not with me, youíre against me
and Iím telling you right now, I would love
to have your support because I canít fight this
and the both of you. We all cried then.
Fifteen years later she told me about the doves --
how she pictured them every day, pecking away
the little pieces of cancer and carrying them
to a place where they couldnít hurt her anymore,
where they couldnít hurt anyone else.
It was very important they drop the pieces
where they couldnít hurt anyone else.

The Gazing Ball

(overheard in the garden aisle of the great big shopping center)

And we will get her a gazing ball for Motherís Day
to distort the flowers in her garden
just in case her world isnít distorted enough
with dreams of peace that will never come
in our lifetime and half-hearted hopes for truth
and understanding where everyone believes
they have the right idea about how to make it happen
while their neighbor or the guy in the car
in front of them has their head up their ass
with no clue how to achieve peace or even live
their own lives the right way and
the Kiwanis Clubs and Rotary Clubs
walk up and down the shoulders of the highway
picking up garbage the rest of us leave behind
and where will they put it all,
as if putting it in one big pile
in a designated area is better
than leaving it lie in the ditches
but then everyone bitches about all the crap
we throw away while all the big companies
keep making more crap to put in the trucks
with all their precious cargo and noxious exhaust
and in the end we believe in the idea of crap,
but itís never our own, it belongs, always,
to the other guy.

©2008 by Julie Eger

Julie Eger writes poetry and fiction, and has been published in Free Verse, Hummingbird, Other Voices, and Peninsula Pulse. She lives in the heart of Wisconsin.

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