Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Mother Could Whistle

My mother could whistle
and so could I,
loud and piercing

to cut through the noise
of everyday living
to get the attention
of a child far away.

It saved the vocal cords
and seemed more discrete
better than hollering
out loud in the street.

It truly was not lady-like,
more of a masculine thing

but I learned it from my mother,
who was refined and genteel
in most of her ways.

She never crossed her legs
when wearing a dress
and kept her knees together
when she sat on a chair

put one foot forward
when she wanted to stand
spoke softly and giggled
behind her hand

she never gossiped
or told lies

you see, she was a lady
and wanted me to be, but

I couldn’t keep my knees locked
and lied and gossiped often.

I laughed too loud,
and decided young
I didn’t want to be a lady

if it meant
having to subdue
my innate desires

but other than that
I learned to whistle
just like my mom.

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