My Mother

My mother elusive in the way

of mothers we spend so many years

with them  we guess who they

are who they were before we

were born before they became our

mothers and then, who they

became when we,

inextricably connected,  are left

guessing. What I would say now

years after my mother died

years after I had the chance to ask her questions

she didn’t want to answer although I’d ask and she

would go through the motions my mother

vibrant chain smoker big gold hoops in her pierced ears

unlike any of the other mothers

at the Beth Israel Synagogue Center

my mother, keeper of secrets, wearer

of orange toreador pants, wife of Mike Cohen,

mother of two, bridge player, reader of book

after book after book, my mother, a tap dancer,

restless, happy when Oscar Levant came

on Jack Paar, my mother, mysterious

until the end, we went out to dinner many

mother’s days and she always ordered shrimp cocktail

and said they were a side benefit to being a mother.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Sarah
    Wearer of black tights
    And bearer of low voice
    And beautiful smile
    Didn’t know she tap danced
    So do I

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