Mothers, talking the bottle warmer or the nob that starts the washing machine. The mothers Brickell, Clorox queens, mattered with milk stains, skin dry and calloused from work but glowing faintly, loud over their children’s cries. Graceful and worn out above the coffee cup, filing for a spoon to stir with. Mothers, pens between their fingers, scribbling to-do lists, invitations and checks like migrant inventors, writing out this months’ calendar, reciting their sons’ lacrosse games and their daughters dance competitions (printed quickly on the big calendar stuck on the fridge); filing through paints for the baby’s room, light blue but not too light. Purses congested, always. Mothers with dossiers for jobs, minivans cluttered with big round stickers, with tissues and water bottles. Time served, my mothers, branching out into interviews, crinkled paper and broken staplers that make for another errand, pulling out their reading glasses and tips back a red bull can. Release tab. Slightly hard of hearing now, the mothers, from the din of the home, slowly nodding.
*Apologies to John Goodby