30 September 2007
I didn't appreciate her then
when forced on someone to care for me.
But when she was long dead, I became a Jew
And made the promise of Ruth
on the Bema with that name
Moved by things taken for granted:
Socks perfectly white
bleached into submission every night
Fresh squeezed juice with every dawn
Dresses ironed to perfection
Birthday angel food cake beaten by hand.
She raised someone who didn't want to be there.
And I only knew her in her middle years
A barren woman who loved me more than I did her.
How do you pay back a roof or a place to be
From a woman once young enough to give me an Uncle Don.
Aunt Ruth read condensed books when she read at all
but bought me Alcott rather than unwanted dolls
And Great Books for graduation with a quote by
Hume on the dedication page.
She didn't live a happy life.
There were too many reasons to complain
She never learned to say thank you for favors done
They didn't exist when she had to clean up after everyone
while no one understood her pain
but then again, I must have loved her
I took her name, when she was gone.