Wednesday, March 4, 2009


my mother was the type of woman
who left notes
all around the house
I’d come home from school
and there’d be a note
on the door that said,
“take off your shoes”
I’d take off my shoes
go into the bathroom
take a piss
while seeing above the toilet
another note that said,
“remember to put down the seat.”
I’d move over to the sink
to wash my hands
and on a post it note
on the mirror it’d say,
“wash your hands”
and “turn faucet all the way off”
when I finished in the bathroom
I’d go into the kitchen
and on the counter
in her big, round letters
there’d be a list with circled numbers
“1. take out the trash”
“2. let the dogs out”
“3. there’s food on the middle shelf
in the fridge”
inside the refrigerator
there’d be Tupperware containers
and each one would be labeled
“lasagna – microwave on high
for three and a half minutes”
or “homemade pizza – cook
eight minutes in toaster over. Do not burn!”
as I grew older
I began to resent these notes
because I felt that no matter
where I went,
she was always telling me what to do.
so I began to disregard the notes
but then when I skipped out
on taking out the trash
the next thing I knew
there was another note that said,
“you forgot to take out the trash.
Please take out the trash
before you do anything else.”
I found I couldn’t totally
disregard the notes
if I read them
so I tried to stop reading them
but it seemed that everywhere I turned
there was another note.
“please vacuum the back hallway”
or “finish the milk before it goes bad”
or “remember dump day is tomorrow.”
finally I grew up and left home
and got away from all those notes
but everywhere I go
I carry around a pad of paper
and a pen
and anytime I need to
remember to do anything
I whip out that pad
and scribble it down
and can’t rest easy
until I know I’ve made a note of it.

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