A Poem for Mom
by danielle santangelo
Lights. A MAN stands center, addressing a particular point in the audience. He is nervous and shaking.
Um, you like poetry? cause cause I wrote you a thing. Its just this (he fumbles around in his pocket, pulls out a tattered piece of paper) its on this paper. Its its called a limerick. I mean I mean thats not the title. I mean structure or something of the poem. Here it goes. Its called "Tonight."
There once was a beauty named Kate
She and I went on a date
We went to the dance
We both took a chance
And stayed out til it was really late.
He folds the paper and quickly stuffs it into his pocket.
Did you like it? My mother always wanted me to be a poet in my free time. Yknow like how parents dream of their sons being baseball stars? My mom had big plans for me to morph into some kind of e.e. cummings. But Id just write some silly words like,
My intentions the moon cannot see,
They hide behind the clouds at day
MOM enters from behind. She stands at a distance from him.
Honey that is the worst piece of yuckypoopoodoodoocaacaa Ive ever heard. Poetry should be romantic not abstract. Poetry should describe your intentions, not the source that hinders them. (she smiles gaily)
So I wrote a poem describing my intentions:
With cards and candy, I have no use,
I want to suck on the apples of your cheeks until I make apple juice.
MAN (flustered and embarrassed)
Anyway, enough about my Mom. Uh so what else can we talk about um, well, we can talk about those dimples you got there. Those dimples are great. Theyre so deep. Like inverted pimples. But deeper. (long pause) I want to stick the tip of my tongue in there and make a fart noise with my spit. (catches himself off-guard). Im just KIDDING. (laughing at himself, nervously). Who DOES that? (silence) So poetry! We should go back to that um so this one time in 4TH grade I was required to write a poem and that was bad. They were Thanksgiving limericks. Mother didnt like mine too much:
Thanksgiving comes but once a year
So sit down and have a beer
Eat a piece of pie
Cranberry on rye
And tell everyone that youre a queer
My mom didnt like that one. She said,
Do you have something youd like to tell me?
The MAN is now nine years old, on his knees and directly talking to her.
I said "No." She said,
Do you like boys?
I said "No." She said,
Do you want to kiss boys?
On the lips?
Are you lying to me?
And I didnt say anything. She slapped me
MOM slaps him.
God help you if you are. People like that die before theyre twenty, and their souls get trapped in a muddy sea of disembodied faces. Millions of blood-soaked voices are crying out all around you. Youre to blame. Youre to blame. Crying for help. Crying to be saved. Crying to escape their paralysis. You cant see whose face is next to yours, whose headless body is walking around a mile away. All you see is Gods foot when he steps on your nose, places oily fingernails on the corner of your mouth and rips those lips right off so you look like THIS (shows) for the remainder of time in the world.
MAN (now standing)
So she wrote me a new poem,
There once was a turkey named Pete
Who had the smelliest feet
One whiff of his toes
Through some hunters nose
And a hamburger hed rather eat.
She got an A on the assignment.
Im really sorry that I keep going on about her. I I really kind of really like you Kate and maybe if you dont mind me not being as smart as maybe youd
Whatre you doing?
Nothing. I was just talking to this girl. Shes Kate.
No youre not, youre coming with me.
Mom please, I want to do this! I mean Im being romantic and intentional and SHES A GIRL and
Oh dear. Ohhhh dear no. No there wont be any slipping away from mama. No slipping away from mama. (tugging) Come on, honey, for old times sake.
She sits in a rocking chair as the MAN snuggles into her lap, she cradling him. A few moments pass. He scratches at her chest.
Oh jeez, do I have to remind you every time?
She pulls out her breast and places the MANs mouth around it. She breastfeeds him as a few moments pass.
If you were just a little more independent if you were just a little more romantic
The lights slowly fade to black as they continue to slowly rock and rock and rock