She tells me I’m getting fat
and I immediately lose weight
I tried diets, fasting, running, and weightlifting
and I became strong,
the fat did not obey my commands
“Leave; I want to lose you!”
but it stayed
and my pants sizes increased
I didn’t want to lose part of myself
but when my mother gave the command
I lost it.
As a child
I got lost in department stores
the mannequins were scary, so still, and so real
like perfect persons paid to display clothes
and the lady on the intercom was God
when she called my mom.
I got lost a lot
and I still do.
Some of us have great abilities
and equally poor sense of direction
My fear of getting lost is real
but there are many people like my mom
who will help
if you ask.
Maybe it’s vanity to search for greatness
it’s not about being better than other people
but to rise above something larger than yourself
Usually, I ponder it, aware of my fleeting time
but yesterday, my mom asked me, if I wanted to make a day of it
and I couldn’t think of anything better to do
with my life, running towards death.
You can spot greatness on the street
How a person walks
or when a man smiles at a woman.
next to the water
and all the people we passed
looked, like they were looking inside
at their troubles.
Then we got a coffee, and made plans for the bookstore
and I noticed the Muslim grocery across the street
12 tall black men were leaning against the wall
carrying prayer rugs
no windows, and the store could’ve been situated in Syria
“I wonder what kind of food they sell there?”
“Oh, some interesting stuff,” my mother said.
“Mom, you’re not allowed in there.”
“Oh, it’s okay. When I walked in, there was no one there, and the gentleman who came out looked at me, suspiciously. I just told him I was browsing.”
I looked at her white hair
“You have more courage than me; I would’ve never gone in.”
“Oh, it’s no big deal. When you get to be my age, you can do whatever you want.”
She drove us to the bookstore and cut several people off in traffic
“Why are everyone honking?” She asked.
Then she pulled into the wrong parking lot. “I guess I don’t know where I’m going. I’m glad you put up with me.”
“Mom, the day is so much better with you. Now, put it in park, and let’s go inside.”