Note: I wrote this rhyme a couple years after my divorce, while raising my youngest daughter on my own. Since I had my youngest when I was 41, I was already “middle-aged” when I wrote this. I put in a laundry photo, since I have many, and because I refer to it in the middle of the poem, where I am placing the photo.
Midlife Musings of a Single Mom
Movies for a quarter, dill pickles, and egg creams;
45 records spinning, hearing “I’ll See You in My Dreams.”
Bicycles –one speed, Fibber McGee & Molly;
10” Black & White TV, my non-talking Dolly.
French fries on the Boardwalk, Steel Pier feats of daring;
Swapping clothes and jewelry, a sisterly kind of sharing.
Pin clips in my stick-straight hair, Nair smeared above my lip;
Being cool in pegged pants and Bucks, a 50s kind of hip.
Hours on the telephone, kissing in the park;
Spin-the-bottle innocence, initials carved in bark.
Double feature movies, drive-ins with a date;
Mom’s laundry on the line, a key to fix my skate.
Woolen leggings, itching; galoshes all in black;
Hand-me-downs from relatives and “Don’t step on the crack.”
Building puzzles with my brother, Daddy fixing cars;
Summer in the Catskills, dark nights filled with stars.
Stumbling through my childhood, armed with fork and knife;
Suddenly I was grown…..and someone else’s “wife.”
Giving birth to children, oh, the labor pains;
Watching them become adults, the joy is what remains.
Then giving birth to myself, after my divorce;
Labor pains twice as hard to chart a different course.
Mem’ries that I conjure and some that never fade;
Good with bad, they’re all mixed in, ‘cause that’s how Life is made.
P.S. I am posting this on May 15th, which is the anniversary of my first marriage. Doing it today helps to replace that memory with the bigger picture of memories that are happier.