When we were small
We would run to the neighborhood playground
The hot top would form tar bubbles
which would stick to the bottoms of our sneakers.
We'd bound to the swing set
A giant structure
Large and metal and hot
Its chains reaching up high
We would twirl on the swings
until we were dizzy
Our moms, wearing big sunglasses and
pedal pushers would push us.
Higher and higher we would go
until our feet touched the clouds
We'd climb the impossibly tall slide
Twelve steps up and we were at the top of world,
burning our bums as we slid down
Our moms were there to catch us at the bottom
We'd climb the monkey bars
Hang upside down by our knees
Our moms would stand to the side and watch the show
We'd try to balance on the see-saw but the other kid
would always be just a little too heavy and
we'd get stuck up high,
terrified that we'd hit the ground with a thump.
We'd call for our moms when we hit the ground.
And there they were to dry our tears
In those days our moms were young
Their faces were not yet lined
Their memories were still intact
Their voices and their wills were strong
They had strength and robust health
They'd laugh and they'd yell at us
but they would catch us at the bottom of the slide
They'd tuck us in at night
make sure our ears were clean
They'd wipe our noses and
feed us red jello and homemade cookies,
meatloaf and chicken soup
and peanut butter and fluff sandwiches.
Time passes and our moms are no longer young
Eventually they lose their strength
And one day we lose them
We cry and we mourn that they are gone.
But, close your eyes ....
Your mom is always there in the light behind your eyelids
With your eyes closed tight she is still at that park
still pushing you on those crazy swings
And telling you not to stand on the top of the slide
She is still in her kitchen baking cookies
and calling you in for supper at the end of the day
Laughing, teaching, being a mom
Behind your closed eyes
She is still young and vibrant,
and full of movement
She is still waking you in the morning
and tucking you in at night.
She is still at that playground, in your kitchen,
in your heart
When you close your eyes
your mom will always be young
and your mom will always be your mom
and your mom will love you always
so close your eyes, and smile