“Lunch with My Parents” by Jill Stein

Jill Stein


So my mother is rolling up her skirt
because she spilled cold water on it
and maybe she’s not wearing
anything underneath
and my husband is gesturing frantically
because the people at the next table
can look up her dress and
my father is talking about the strings
the Orthodox put around a town
and how ridiculous religion is
and making jokes about
unzipping his fly
to demonstrate
that they don’t like this
in a restaurant
and my mother is saying
she’s very sorry
but she’s leaving him
because it’s time to finish lunch
and he’s still eating
and the food’s no good
they treat us poorly
she’s never coming back
she’s moving out
and he says cheerfully
your mother is the mayor now
so she has to live inside the Borough

and she says
Talk to him—
He won’t listen
but you have to try.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010
Tribute to Mental Health Workers

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