She tells me I’m getting fat

and I immediately lose weight

before that,

I tried diets, fasting, running, and weightlifting

and I became strong,

Sumo 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

back then,

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.

We walked

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.”


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