Always & Never by Lindell Vecchio
She never refused whenever I asked,
‘Mother, pretty please, would you starch my sash?’
She washed our laundry and hung it outside
With wood pins on Daddy’s homemade clothesline.
Each piece she wrung through a hand-cranked wringer.
Daddy named it our “Wash House Humdinger.”
She never turned down requests to prepare
Menus appropriate holiday fare.
She boiled, broiled, braised, barbecued and deep-fried.
She baked, flaked, glazed, chopped, and caramelized
Sweet treats and meats from scratch with skill, year round.
Daddy said, “Mama makes cookin’ profound.”
She always said, “Yes”, whenever I asked,
‘Mother, pretty please, would you tie my sash?’
She kept a clean house without any help.
She had just a broom, a mop, and herself.
No spot on the floor, a pot, or a pan,
Daddy thanked her for our home, “spic ‘n span.”
She never had thought of a vacation.
With less than a high school education,
She balanced the checkbook and paid the bills.
She purchased supplies and she nursed our ills.
Daddy said, “Mama is good with numbers
And, she is one of the world’s great wonders.”
She always woke up whenever I screamed,
‘Mother! Mother!’, when I had a bad dream.
She was up and dressed ahead of daylight.
She labored all day and into the night.
Daddy said, “Mama does so much alone.
Besides, she also works outside the home.”
She always told me when I was refused,
“You sure don’t want them if they don’t want you.”
Nothing in writing lest the world should read;
Talk not of others or plant gossip seed.
“Mama has the gift of gab,” Daddy said,
She is self-sufficient and real well read.”
She always complied and never refused,
‘Mother, when you go, please let me go, too?’
Daddy said, “This time she cannot take you.”
© April 2006; December 2011
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