Mother’s Birthday, Sept. 29
Mother, this is the day in 1916 when you squeaked out of
your mother, Pasqualina Spanard Caputo, home-birthing you in
that slanting house in Fleming Park, McKees Rocks, Penna.
May we say that I was born then too, because
the egg of me was in you then, as was the
egg of you in your mother when she was born,
and her egg in her mother when great grandmother Spanard
cried out her first cry, echoing,
somewhere in the hills of southern Italy.
This is how lovemaking of our ancestors carries forth
generation after generation. I bow, praise, and thank all of them.
But now, Mother, as I visualize you in the picture in my
mind, of you, here in our cemetery, I remember Dylan Thomas’s words,
“The dead periscope through flowers to the stars.”
I remember and feel so happily, the hold of your hand
and the hug you gave me, the morning of the day
you began your journey to the stars.
On this your birthday, and mine too, in a way,
of all the words I could say, and remembering
how you taught me to always be a good person, a
good man; so, thankfully, when I look up at the stars tonight
I’ll breathe star dust and say, “Mother, I love you.”