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Oedipus on Mother's Day

Donald Illich

Hallmark sells no cards for our situation.
I scan the aisle looking for a bittersweet

spot between those for wife, those for
mother. Wife seems too affectionate,

while son feels kind of reserved. I should
kiss you on the cheek when I've seen you

naked, lots of times? Or sit on your lap?
But I'm a big boy now, as you know,

probably too much so. I did find one
for Dad, actually, an apology to you.

A baby on the front accidentally spills
his pudding. A rainbow word balloon

yells, “Oops!” Inside, a puppy licks up
the drops. The text: “Accidents happen.

I hope you can forgive me.” We'll try
to pretend they're not blood. Let's admit,

though, you're glad I'm back this day.
Once you winced at brunch specials

and mimosas, visited places mothers
wouldn't be: sci-fi conventions, cock

fights, rugby matches. We can go out
together on a date, act as if we have

a child at home, baby sat by shepherds,
never left alone, exposed to elements.

Indifference will never be a problem
for us. The only curse we have is love.

Donald Illich

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