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                                                                                                                          TUCSON, ARIZONA 2012 
Photo: Anita Clissa

AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

It was the fifties
On rue de la Peltrie
The street of gingerbread houses
And bad spells.
I played hockey in the street
And wore a sailor boy suit
And you always had your foot
On the gas.
You were mobile,
An Independent Woman
Before this became fashionable.
O Mother
I hardly knew you
Beyond the hysteria and mental chaos.
I imagine you were making cancer inside you
As you cooked us liver and fried onion
For supper.
Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
I realize now how
you needed to step  beyond
the housewife dance you did so
Reluctantly.
You should have joined the circus
instead
and taken me with you.
I would be standing
around  watching you prepare for your freak show.
You are donning your make-up in the mirror
And our eyes meet there
Fleetingly
but forever.
That would be a memory worth keeping.
But, no
It was all about you in crisis
Or in bed howling  
From a chemotherapy reaction,
The picture of Jewish misfortune.
Why couldn’t you have been  Anglo Saxon
with airy eyes and  a tight sphincter?
Yes,
Dear mother,
You were all spunk and
Girdle fat.
My friends thought you smart
When you paraded your caring side
At Steinberg’s.
Did you ever get around to killing anyone
with that cucumber you  carried?
I turned out fine.  Thank you. I have the scars to show it.
And I see you in everyone who wears a skirt.
There is even a picture of us beside me now
that I gaze at occasionally
And wonder who was that sunny boy
Once upon a time,
He must have been quite the
Cut-up.
So, you see,
I have never let you walk away from me.
I carry you like a portable radio
That punctures my inner ear
Through girlfriends and Emergency rooms
Your admonition
Has prevailed to stop any accidents.
I owe my life to you, mother.
You were once “mumsykins” to me,
I remember that .

 

28 responses to “Home

  1. lubega1

    2014/09/01 at 5:13 PM

    WOW what an incredible poem.Beautifulxx

     
  2. Heather Whipp

    2014/02/13 at 11:27 PM

    Wonderfully put. I could picture everything so clearly. I think it spoke to me more than reading it as a short story.

     
  3. Poetry & Other Parts

    2013/10/25 at 10:58 AM

    Oh gosh, what an excellent balance of regret and humor…your line breaks are so well done too; they allow me to keep up with the pace of remembering without tripping up. Great find for me too, as I’ve been working on a poem the last few days that involves an “O, Father”…trying to figure out how to make this crucial line work without scaring the reader away…so thanks for the example :)

     
  4. Nadya Seiler

    2013/10/09 at 7:52 PM

    Beautiful and so-so truthful poem! It made me think of my mom. “I have never let you walk away from me…” How true. My mother died two decades ago, but I think of her every single day. Thank you for this poem.

     
  5. John Guzlowski

    2013/10/09 at 3:47 PM

    Love the poem. Your mother and my mother must have gone to the same school for mothers. Here’s a poem I wrote about her, wondering if she learned her mothering skills from the Nazis who ran the concentration camps she was in:

    The Evil that Men Do

    My mother is not God
    not the blessed virgin
    not some saint you pray to
    when all else in life fails
    and you’re hanging on to hope
    like you hang onto the hand
    of a dying loved one
    who is breathing her last.

    My mother has a heart
    of concrete or hardened clay—
    a golem heart. She will tell you
    you are stupid if you buy
    smoked fish and not fresh,
    beat you with a broom
    if you disobey her or are awake
    when she comes from working
    the third shift at the factory.

    She was born in a hard time.
    At nineteen she came home
    to her dead, the bodies
    of her mother, her sister,
    and the baby in the blanket.
    At twenty, things happened
    that she still won’t talk of.

    What she tells me is the usual
    camp shit—eating beets
    and rotten potatoes,
    wearing frozen shoes
    that left her a cripple,
    the cold nights, and the fear.

    Maybe she learned it there
    in the labor camps—
    How to cut herself loose
    from you with a slap
    or an ugly name like whore
    Or asshole or stupid shit.

    I’ve seen her take my father—
    stupid from work and drink—
    [no stanza break]
    and pull him from the chair
    and kick him while he cried:
    “Please, Tessha, dear God.”

    She forgives the Nazis
    for teaching her this discipline
    but she can’t forgive my dad,
    my sister Danusha or me.

    We breathe too easy.

     
  6. ingy

    2013/08/24 at 10:53 AM

    that was our time, I remember it well. (bicycle rides..stuff) me outside and you on you on inside of those days. you expressed it so very well. hope to see you some day soon.

     
  7. Audry

    2013/02/28 at 8:46 PM

    “Ron Kozloff | Writer and Director” Sliding Panel Tracks was in fact a superb article and I actually was extremely happy to read the article.
    Thanks for your effort,Mary

     
  8. http://tinyurl.com/primupton31890

    2013/01/26 at 4:57 AM

    I actually needed to show this particular article, “Ron
    Kozloff” together with my close friends on facebook .com.
    Ijust simply needed to spread ur great posting! Regards, Gino

     
  9. http://tinyurl.com/clearoach14015

    2013/01/16 at 8:12 PM

    Many thanks for using some time to create “Ron Kozloff”.
    Many thanks again -Angeles

     
  10. diannegray

    2013/01/05 at 3:55 PM

    Beautiful poem, very poignant and powerful…

     
  11. wyrdpooka

    2012/11/26 at 4:52 AM

    I think the hardest thing to do is to write a poem about mothers, your mother anyone’s mother, with out falling into mockish sentimentality. Bravo you managed to be emotionally evocative,, honest , and loving without a single hallmark moment.

     
  12. coyotetooth

    2012/07/10 at 6:08 AM

    Captured rawness! Will keep reading, digesting, savouring . . .

     
  13. janice Rawlins

    2012/06/26 at 9:13 PM

    Thanks for sharing. The words were very touching. I never knew what it was like to have a mother but yours sounded so kind. Thanks for sharing your words with me about you’re mom.

     
  14. Ruthi Postow

    2012/05/08 at 10:58 AM

    Luckily for me, I discovered your blog on Twitter. I enjoy your poetry and your photographs are beautiful. I’ve added you to my blogroll.

     
  15. Christopher Scott Dixon

    2012/04/17 at 11:55 PM

    Hi Ron, lovely poem, thought provoking, in the words of the Ink Spots song, “Into each life some rain must fall, but too much, too much is falling in mine”, nothing to do but keep the sleeves rolled up and wade back into life again!

     
  16. angelique

    2012/02/22 at 4:58 PM

    This is energetic and I got right into it: being shiny and all the arrows pointing up. I enjoyed reading this poem very much.

    angelique

     
  17. andrew grant

    2012/02/22 at 4:51 PM

    Today was complex and enjoyable!”I s crazy the way people Wear the” Do Not Disturb” sign On their eyes.” Is a brilliant part of the poem. I like that because I can relate to it- its usually me!! I sense frustration in the poem, which really comes through. Complex feelings written simply, great! Thank you.

     
  18. Anthony V. Toscano

    2012/02/20 at 11:39 AM

    Perfect, Ron. No rest for me, The temptation to find relief negates the possibility.

     
  19. Richard Taverner

    2012/02/12 at 5:39 PM

    hi man.. blog is very nice.. I found everything I’m looking for .. I loved this blog .. I wish continued success …[] Admin to http://bedavamaclinklerin.blogspot.com%5B%5D

     
  20. Caroline Gerardo

    2012/02/07 at 10:21 AM

    The only defeat is death, other than that get back up and start over love.

     
  21. truthaboutmornings

    2012/01/16 at 3:53 PM

    You said it so well! I’ll have to quote you to someone I know who denies this….

     
  22. JaneMiami

    2012/01/15 at 11:03 PM

    Is this blog sponsored by AARP? Just checking, because I haven’t read my membership package yet…can’t find glasses.

     
  23. Eric Alagan

    2012/01/15 at 6:18 AM

    Hello and good day, Ron,
    I am pleased to nominate you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please check out post > http://wp.me/p1YE83-gL
    All good wishes, Eric :-)

     
  24. 2zpoint

    2011/12/16 at 12:41 AM

    Time is my nemesis. Were it not for the the lack of understanding I had and the innocence I lost somewhere along the way, I would never have experienced the amazing journey or known love… or loss.
    Your words made me think of these thoughts. Peace be with you.

     
  25. duckyouforever

    2011/12/12 at 11:17 PM

    I deplore when a reader takes a perfectly elegant poem and attempts to analyze someone’s psyche; offer him advice on how to live. He is writing poems. He already knows a great deal about how to live.

    I quite liked the words.

     
  26. yagritty

    2011/11/29 at 6:20 PM

    When you’re in the middle of living, you might get glued to your life, but I say jump around that obstacle, open your eyes to the possible.

     
  27. ideagirlconsulting

    2011/11/26 at 12:24 AM

    i find being older i’m more settled in my ways and i am doing things i always dreamed about before and now anything i want to do i do it right away.. the bucket list movie showed me the way ;)

     
  28. AJ Burton

    2011/11/21 at 3:29 PM

    When you’re young you don’t see things clearly; when you’re old you don’t want to see things clearly.

    Now I am older, I see things alot clearer thanks to reading glasses and a new awakening to the world around me, which I will miss sorely when I leave.

     

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