I lift them from the floor, two crisp dollar bills
folded in half as they came from the card
twenty years ago. Cadbury Creme Eggs
from my mother because that year, like so many,
I was dieting. I had not yet learned I was allergic
to chocolate. The dollars were meant, like candy,
to be as fleeting as the words, "Hello, I love you!
Delightful to see you. Here's a little Easter treat." Yum
yum, gobble, gobble. But somehow, the paper eggs
never got eaten. I, who pride myself on imagination,
could think of no small treat both safe for a dieting palette
(or mind) and sufficient to honor my mother's boundless
love. She meant only to include me and would laugh or cry
at such agonizing deliberations over twenty years.
This morning, I knocked the precious dollars
from their perch beside my bed—perhaps to remind me
that when I pass on, no one will know the value
of this money. Maybe someone will stick them
in a wallet and spend them with ordinary money
for gas, dry cleaning or a soda for my son.
May that soda explode in rainbow flavors
and free the burden and glory of two
generations of love (hallelujah!) onto
that cherished and unsuspecting tongue.
Mary Stebbins Taitt
090130-0942-1e; 090130, 1st
(hated the illo, had to do it over!)