poems by Rena J. Mosteirin

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Love is like a little tree

When we started we were so tender and nervous
small kindnesses were vital, they still are.
When we started, I would stay up all night to look at you.
Last night I looked at your body with thunder
rolling in flashes over you, making pools of moonlight
all smoky blue in your definite shapes while you slept.

Abuela once said, love is like a little tree,
you have to feed it and it will grow branches to protect you from the rain.
When the thunder stopped, it started to snow
last night and you left me a love note on the bedroom door this morning
you taped it up so I would see it first thing
because I had been crying in my sleep.
When I woke up it was all silence and snow.

Your note said:
You are special and wonderful –
I love you.
Please take the day off if you need it –
Drink soup, tea, eat an orange.
Smile. Take care of yourself.

And the room is bright this morning
because everything outside is coated with last night’s snow.
I call in sick and stay under the covers, eat ice cream for breakfast, right out of the carton, watch a movie on TV. I call Abuela,

she wants to talk about my “bad cousin,” because “we have to be with reality.”
The bad cousin had to pawn the playstation for diapers, Abuela says.
What is a playstation? Is it like a VCR?
I tell Abuela yes, it’s a VCR so fancy you could get many nice diapers for it.

Abuela says the bad cousin is lucky
she has such a thing to sell, back in the old days
if you have a lazy husband and two babies you have to work
when the babies are asleeping, sewing dresses for Mary Hoochie-Poochie.
I tell her I want more lines about love,
because I am writing a love poem, and without hesitation
she says: if your husband is a perfectionist
you must keep the house very clean.

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