My Mother Waits
by Claire Scott

She waited for me every day after school,
patient like Ferdinand in his field of flowers.
No need to hurry home, plenty of time to pick daffodils
from Mrs. Wilson's yard, to throw some tennis balls
to Randy's dog, to play hopscotch with Patty and Sue.
She waited with a plate of cookies and
a glass of Nestlé's chocolate milk,
flipping through the pages of Ladies Home Journal,
waiting for the slam of the front door, the plunk of a backpack,
waiting to hear about my day, how was the spelling test
did I like the smiley face she put in my lunch.

She is still waiting for me.
No hurry, plenty of time to pick up milk and eggs,
to fold a load of laundry, to play a few games of monopoly
with my grandkids, hotels piled on Park Place and Illinois Avenue.
Plenty of time to practice Spanish, to walk in Redwood Park
and still make beef stew for supper.
Mother, I'm coming. To sit by the marble stone
marked with your name. To enjoy
the sweet smell of the purple hyacinth
I planted for you last spring. To learn
how to wait patiently in a field of flowers.


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