Mother At The Beach, 1939 - Poem by Max Reif
When Mother was a young girl,
what would she have felt
to be shown how her life would turn out—
her husband and sons,
and how things went with the family,
later a grandchild dead at 13,
four surviving to bring in
still another generation?
When she was on the beach, say,
in Atlantic City in that picture from the'30s,
skin fair and fresh as apple flesh,
looking into the camera
like a comet at a sky
it's about to cross?
Could she have seen
the crone she is at 85,
Or leaving her beloved east coast
for a life in the midwest?
I don't think so. Nor
the dignity life has conferred upon her
through hard choices
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