My mother sometimes uses words
From the secret language of sisters.
“SustutOpup” or “mumUgug”
Are “stop sign” and “coffee mug.”
I asked once, “What was the word for mother?”
She thought and said, “There wasn’t a word for her.”
She seldom recalls her many moments.
She recalls she hung the clothes in the basement.
She recalls her in the kitchen, perhaps.
I can’t help but think these lapses
Are strange. How could this important woman
Barely be in her recollection?
But to understand her brute of a father
Is to know the efficient language of sisters.
At night when there was a creak on the stairs
It was never their mother there.
It was “DudAdud” that was tapped out
In their secret Morse Code.
There was a word for a tangible danger
That warranted a warning whisper.
There was a word for the terror on the stair
But “protection” and “mother” weren’t there.
© Sandra Lyon Kramer
Excerpt from the book The Only Words my Soul Knows
About the Author
Sandra Lyon Kramer is a poet, artist, and political blogger. Her first published work was an essay that appeared in the “My Turn” column of the Los Angeles Daily News in June of 1992. The following year she won The National Author’s Registry President’s Award for Literary Excellence for “Starless” and was recognized by the International Society of Poets as a Poet of Merit.
Sandra is the former owner of two free-press publications, The Anti-Press and the Reality Press, and was a contributor to the Daily News, the Daily Journal, and Antelope Valley Focus Magazine. She now operates Tiny House Productions in the Los Angeles area and is a frequent participant in open mic events at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural in Sylmar, California.
Visit Sandra’s Author page at: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/sandra-lyon-kramer-.html