Child’s Play

I blame my mother…

For making me the oldest
so I could set an example
for my brothers and sisters
when I screw up.
…not that they learned from my mistakes.

For no television before 8 o’clock at night
so I could get my homework done
or — do something constructive with my time.
…not that I ever took advantage of it.

I blame my mother…

For the tears,
when the dreams in my head
aren’t the same as my reality.
…not that I ever stopped dreaming.

For being born a Pisces.
…see above.

And for my lifelong rivals.
Two brothers and two sisters
to compete with each other
and for her.
…not that she didn’t have time for all of us.

I blame my mother…

For having a job at
the school where she knew everyone
in the system.
…not that I didn’t try to get away with anything.

For her marriage to my step-dad.
Putting our fate in his hands.
Who had a job where
he knew everyone else.
…not that I still didn’t try to get away with anything.

I blame my mother…

For the hole in my bread.
The single kernel of corn.
The solitary string bean.
Flying biscuits and napkins.
Christmas chaos, and
mandatory 6 o’clock dinners.

I blame my mother…

For my own children acting
the same way I did…
so I made her a grandmother
before she was forty and a
great grandmother…just last year.

I love you mom.

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