In Loving Memory
Mary Lynn Stricklin Horton
January 12, 1937-December 2, 1990
Let's just pretend, because it's your birthday,
that the lump in your breast was a mosquito bite
that disappeared in a few days and your life
I will call you up and tell you to come by, the
coffee's on and there's coconut cake.
We'll talk about hair color and plants. You will be
amazed at how the grandchildren have grown.
We will speculate about Rosie's new man
and how high the price of groceries will rise
because of the early freeze. I will make you a
copy of that quilt pattern you've been wanting.
We will giggle at old stories: the time you broke
your foot riding a bicycle, the leaves in the chicken stew.
We will groan about our weight gain and I will say
your boobs are as big as the moon.
We will refuse to talk about cancer. We won't
think about chemicals and radiation and
Lord help us get through this. There will be no
emaciated body that lost its strength to talk about.
When it is getting close to suppertime, we will hug
and I will say Happy Birthday and you will say
Forty, again, and then you will go home.
But not very far, so I won't miss you.
~Wanda Stricklin Robertson