Here is a snippet. Your comments and criticisms are welcomed.
The phone is silent for what seems like minutes. That’s how it used to be at the dinner table sometimes, until my mother started either laughing or clapping. She would throw her head back in sheer delight.
“Kids," she’d say to the four of us, “never let too much time pass without reading a poem outloud. It will keep you grounded. If somebody says you’re ugly, read a poem. If somebody steals your money, read a poem. And for god sakes, when you get your heart broken, read a poem. You’ll be surprised.”
I didn’t stay in journalism. My mother died the night Providence won the State Championships and twenty minutes after the game ended, after I emailed the story to my editior, I was on my way to the TF Greene Airport, praying I’d make it back home so she could see me, so I could hold her hand, so I could maybe read her her favorite poem of all, The Country by Billy Collins, about a mouse running too fast with a wooden matchstick in his mouth who burns down this guys’ girlfriend’s house. My mother folded over whenever she heard that poem. Even when my younger brother totaled her car, the night before her road trip to see my Aunt Louise, she buckled with laughter when he told her he was so repetent he would recite The Country for her every night for six months.
“You’re on, son,” she said, “but you still have to pay the deductible..”
I didn’t make it home before my mother died. Ryan said her last words were “Poets in heaven”. Can you believe that? My mother was nothing if not consistent.