She Asks Her Mother To Sing

She asks her mother to sing. Her mother always thinks she can’t, knows her voice is wobbly and her ear is bad and she hardly knows any songs.

But this is her little girl, her little girl who has not grown up enough to realize her mother is fallible. Her little girl wants her mother to sing.

“Go tell Aunt Rhodie.” Her mother’s voice trembles as usual. “Go tell Aunt Rhodie. Go tell Aunt Rhodie the old grey goose is dead.”

The girl joins with her mother. “She died in the millpond,” they sing, louder and louder in the laundry room in the basement. “She died in the millpond,” they are singing, almost shouting now and clapping. “She died in the millpond standing on her head.”

The little girl squeals with laughter as her mother continues. “Father is weeping, Father is weeping.” Her mother puts down the shirt she has been folding and grabs the little girl’s hands.

“Father is weeping,” and the little girl joins, “Because the goose is dead!”

And their singing is stopped by their howls of laughter, they are hugging and laughing so hard they can barely breathe, but when they do breathe, they breathe in each other’s scent, inhale it as if it were their own.

One Response to “She Asks Her Mother To Sing”
  1. Pat West says:

    This poem lands just right!

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