Sway

What once were todays.
A woman, lithe past my body’s comprehension,
standing square, yet in imperceptible motion,
sways.

Her face wears pride and delight,
a moment within a moment,
a moment gone, yet resonant.
Her friends wear smiles equally bright.

People were different then,
or are we so changed?
So angry, so disarranged?
How and when?

The woman? My mother.

Dark brown hair cut to the shoulders,
a debutante’s smile
absent of feminine wile,
squarely feminine yet bolder.

She tried to teach me how,
(the smile, of course,
a woman’s natural resource,
that Marilyn Monroe kitten gasp and wow.)

But the sides of my mouth would not obey,
trapped in a Mona Lisa frame
of caution and game. 
Sadly, that was my girlish way.

Her special blend?

A simple little dress
(not our stance of skew and slant
in fashion–less song, more rant),
nothing that might impress,

a 1940’s play between structure and flow,
cabbage-like white dahlias burst and distract
long a rayon sheath, I can only know as black.
(Her body had an elegance mine could never know).

The flowers on her dress are of that time,
implying color in a din of grey,
or so my father would say.
Bold and exotic, they charm and chime.

Her family was rich, and she was smart.
She’d swap the money for different treasure.
The money brought no joy nor pleasure,
just a family torn and absent of heart.

“He may not make a living, but he makes the living easy.”

She’d quote and croon,
having left fortune for her dreamer,
a Greek-American of warm demeanor,
my father – her eternal swoon.

So, here she is, in her today –
a yeoman’s raffle of sorts.
The prize? A kiss, a simple sport,
a happy pause for men in harm’s way.

Don’t judge; these were different times,
and yes, a lot of nothing and ungainly ruses.
One man wins, one man chooses,
A different reason, a different rhyme.

The prize? My momma!

He takes her hand and draws her near.
She shyly laughs and pulls away.
She’s the organiser of the day,
not the performer.

A game must play out,
especially one of her invention.
The best-laid plans with good intention…
about that, there was no doubt.

But, just not her, oh, grrrrrr.
They kiss. He’s tall
and handsome, after all,
so, therefore, why demur?

My mother moved toward inevitable ends.
My curvaceous frame,
moves with breezes of change.
Though not so willowy, I, too, bend.

My secret? Keep moving, it is the only way.
While others stand rigid like wood
against violent gusts, perpetually withstood.
Forget them, and remember, sway.

©SVlahos 2019