As a child, you were my shining light
With your long, dark hair that curled around.
"She's so pretty," the kids said in my 2nd grade class
When you came to visit,
Bringing along with you your big, bright, red-lipstick smile.
When I broke the new lamp
And hid under the bed all day,
I hoped you wouldn't be mad at me,
But instead you said, "I never did like that lamp anyway."
Remember the walks to and from the State and Palace theatres on Saturday night?
Sometimes you treated us to hamburgers, fries, and a cherry Coke, and
We stopped at Walgreen's to get the 3 for 25 cents candy bars--
me with black licorice or Dots.
Afterwards, we always walked home under the stars, and
I silently prayed we'd make it safely home past dark Buffington Park.
Your best fare was breakfast every morning before school--
French toast, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or a poached egg.
Then came some Sundays with your fried chicken, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes.
Pineapple-upside-down cake was your favorite homemade dessert.
When I became a mother myself, you were there
To help me with my first, second, and third,
Letting me feel all was okay, helping me make up my new routine.
I finally felt safe in motherhood.
I use to think the good times were going to a party, a wedding, a vacation,
Having a new outfit, or another bracelet.
Then I discovered too late that
It was the small things.
Those were the good times.
Why couldn't we have had more of the small things?