Movie Stars Thank My Mother For Her Patronage

Rita Hayworth
We do see you, you know,
on the other side of the screen,
always in the fourth row
(since you won't wear your glasses),
eating your popcorn (double butter)
and sipping your drink (Pepsi-Cola).
We know everything about you.
Every time you knocked on Marion
Grabowski's door you asked: Marion,
are you decent? And she answered: Me?

Greer Garson
When you watched Mr. Chips
you cried so hard the manager
was ready to call an ambulance;
and even you wonder sometimes
how light thrown against a screen
can burn a hole in someone's heart.

Walter Pidgeon
I remember your handkerchiefs:
scalloped edges and red piping,
some with delicate floral patterns,
all pressed and smelling of cedar.

Olivia de Havilland
Your favorite theater was the Palace:
everything in black and purple
with a crystal chandelier and plush
velvet chairs. When you saw Snake Pit
there you squeezed Marion's hand
so hard you nearly broke her fingers.

Franchot Tone
You and Marion saw Midnight Mary twenty times,
maybe more. Each time you saw me kissing Loretta Young
you almost passed out. Swooned, I believe, is the word.
I suppose the scene was kind of steamy for its day.
And maybe you thought you were she, a poor girl
trying to make something out of what you were given.
Poverty of the purse, but not the spirit. Thank you
and adieu, adieu: at least I have you to remember me.