A poem for all of you (all of us) who have ever struggled with Mother's Day.

The Kids in the Village Asked

how come I didn’t know the difference
between a Holstein with its black and white splotches
and a Jersey nearly all brown with a little black on the face?
Where did I come from that   
I wouldn’t know a simple thing like which cow was that?

My question was where did she go?
Why couldn’t I have my mother?

The kids in the village couldn’t understand
how I didn’t know a simple thing like walking on the left.
Up the hill on the left, down the hill on the left. Facing traffic.
What traffic, I asked myself?
Who cared where a car was, where it was going?

I wanted to know a simple thing.
Where did she go?

The kids in the village couldn’t believe
I had never peed outside. Never, they asked?
You mean in somebody’s yard? Or a park? I asked back.
In the woods, they said.
No, no woods.

No mother to ask. Is that OK, to go
to the bathroom where there is no bathroom?

The kids in the village said Momma.
Momma said this and Momma said that
as if every mother was everybody’s Momma,
but I said my mother
because I only said Mommy

when I talked right to her
which I never did anymore
out loud.