On Wednesday afternoons my mother drove
into the city with this friend to catch a matinee.
She had ten kids in nine years, this friend.
She talked about the theater incessantly,
and sang its praises ad nauseam.
But she usually missed her exit and was late for their rendezvous
and they found themselves stuck in Tunnel traffic
and couldn’t decide where to park and as a result missed the show.
She moved to Mississippi, this friend.
She writes sometimes to say there is no theater,
but George (that’s her husband) is doing just fine.
Sometimes my mother calls to ask if I would like to see a show.
She is always late, then talks incessantly,
commenting on the decor and costumes, insisting she
knows that actor from somewhere but where
exactly she can’t recall and insists
I surely remember. Then we go to lunch.
She sends back the entree (once) or the silverware (twice).
She says I’d prefer her in Mississippi.