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Mothers Day
by Julie Michaelson
05/12/12
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In pain
you shall
bring forth
children.
[Genesis 3:16]
******************
Time: 1968
Place: A rowhouse;
northwest Philadelphia.
____________________________
(Loud, whiny yell from upstairs.)
"MOMMM......MMMMMIE?
CAN I GET MY EARS.......
..... PIERCED?"

(Sound of dishes clammering
in the kitchen sink. The sudsy
scent of Joy dishwashing liquid
bubbles up the stairs.)
"NO!
I already TOLD ya'll,
Julbie!
NO!"

(Louder whine from upstairs.)
"WHY..................?"

(The smell of Maxwell House coffee,
and Pall Mall cigarettes drifts up
from the kitchen. It overwhelms
the Joy scent.)
"Ya'll look like a GYPSY!
I said NO!"

(Silence.)
(Very plaintative woeful whine
from the stairs landing.)
"DADDY............?
Can I GET my ears........PIERCED?"

(Sounds of a newspaper rustling,
against the muffled shouts of
Phillies fans on the black and
white console TV.)
".......Mama said....."
(Rustle.)
(Rustle.)
"....no....."

(Louder, more woeful whine.)
"But.........LEAH....HAS 'em!"

(Sound of dish water draining
in the sink.)
"NO!
I said......NO!
I don't want my DAUGHTER
lookin' like a GYPSY!"

(Shout from the stairs landing.)
"But I WANNA BE A GYPSY!
I WANNA LOOK JUST LIKE
CHER!"

(Silence from the kitchen
except for more dishes clamoring,
and the sound of a phone loudly ringing
from the kitchen.)

"JULBIE!"
(Sound of the water faucet
turning off, squeakily,
in the kitchen.)
"IT'S....... LYNN!"

(Sounds of clomping footsteps
down the long, dirty-gray carpeted stairs.)
(Accompanying shouts to the
clomps.)
"And......LYNN'S GONNA GET 'EM, TOO!"

(The smell of a lit match
and a newly lit cigarette
drift from the kitchen.)
"I don't BELIEVE that!
"JOAN'S gonna LET HER.....?"

"UH, HUH!
UH, HUH!
ASK!
Just....ASK!
Joan SAID!
LYNN'S GONNA GET 'EM,
TOO!"

(The loud whistling of
an old, burnt tea kettle
can be heard from the kitchen;
the aroma of Maxwell House coffee
fills the air.)
"JULBIE......!
I said........
knock it OFF!"

(Rustling of newspapers;
shouts and boos coming from
the Phillies fans.)
"Julbie,
Mama said......
(Rustle.)
"........to knock it OFF."

(Woeful whine trailing down
the steps, and into the livingroom,
and into the kitchen
where the only phone in the
house is: its long, long, black
curly-cued twisted cord hanging
over the kitchen counter on the
diningroom table.)
"But WHAT about JOAN?
And........LEAH'S mom?
THEY say it's OKAY......!"

(Sounds of the faucet in the
kitchen turning on, again. More
dishes rattling.)
"I can't BELIEVE.....
Joan's gonna let her daughter
go around lookin' like a GYPSY..."

"BUT, MOMMMM.....MMMMIE!
I WANNA LOOK .....JUST LIKE.......CHER!"
(Pause.)
"DADDY?
Can I have the FUNNIES*?"

(Shout from the kitchen.)
"JUL.......BIE.....!
Get the........ PHONE......!"

(Silence, except for the loud
boos of the Phillies fans and
the clattering-clinks of dinner
dishes.)
(Pause.)
(Sound of a heavy black phone
being dropped off the diningroom table.)

(Scream from the kitchen.)
"JUL......BIE!
YUR' GONNA BREAK THAT
DAMN PHONE!"

(Whiny, woeful shout.)
"I didn't.........MEAN IT!
It just......... DROPPED!"
(Sound of a heavy phone being scraped
across the wooden floor
by its long dangly cord.)
(Pause.)
(Really loud, plaintative wail.)
"LYNN.........?
Hey........LYNN?
Didn't you say.......
YOUR MOM......
was gonna let you get your.....
EARS....
PIERCED.....?"
*****************************
I have calmed
and quieted
my soul,
like a child
quieted
at its
mother's
breast.
[Psalm 131:2]

__________________
In loving memory:
Joan Maile,
and
Mommy.

Copyright 2012.


*The comics-pages,
from the Philadelphia Bulletin.




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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