the writing of kuypers
June 8, 1999
once i was sitting in the living room,
and i said i need to go wash my hands.
so i walked upstairs, went over to the kitchen sink.
mom, sitting in the living room, didn't mention
that the sink was half-full of raw squid for her dinner.
i shriek. mom laughs.
"are their beady little eyes looking
up at you?" she asked.
the little devil.
every once in a while
mom would play cards with us
but her poker face is just awful.
she'd draw a card,
one she evidently wanted
look at it down her bifocals
raise her eyebrows
"ooh, ooh, ooh!!" she’d say.
we all knew then we should fold
she never wanted to sing,
mom always said she
sounded just awful, and dad even
agreed. he'd make a humorous threat,
like, be careful, or i'll make mom sing.
but one thing mom was always
musical at was yawning,
i think she could hum a song while
usually, though, she
would just start her yawn with a high pitch
then change key by key
for five or six notes
sometimes we'd all just be quiet watching
television and out would come one of
mother's original scores.
once when i was in florida
visiting mom and dad
(i think it was a sunday)
mom asked me,
"what do you want for dinner
and i thought,
i don't know what i want for dinner
tonight, or even if i want
to eat, much less
what i want for dinner
two days from now
i wanted to tell her to relax,
not to worry about me,
and i thought,
there she goes again
everything is perfect
she never likes to see her daughter cry
it would make her cry too
"you go in there, talk to her"
she would say to another daughter
i remember once
i cried and ran upstairs to my bedroom
i was laying on my bed in the dark
my sister tried to come in
i told her to leave me alone
then my mother knocked
and i couldn't tell her to go away
she came in, sat on the bed
"you see, i always turn into a mess"
but it was nice to see you cry for me