Practicing: a years old repost for T, ‘coz I got nothin’ else

I am underwater and her words reach me in waves:

Doctor unavailable.  Appointment rescheduled.  Circumstances beyond our control.

I remember drills designed to give my muscles memory

about when to look left and turn right and fake a defender

away from my jumpshot

repeating those same sets of movements

again and again until on game day

the feel of a forward’s breath over my left shoulder

told my arms and hips and head all they needed to know

to do what’s next.

I remembered those drills this morning

in the days before Dr. Dawn

with the phone in my hand and the out-of-town DoctorOfficeLady

telling me why my Mom has to wait again.

I force myself to listen to her vapid explanation as I watch my Mom

lower her head as

she labors to lift her hand

and I practice asking nicely

for reconsideration while other words with

Ms and Fs and the hardest K sounds catch silently in my throat

along with the sentences

I know where you are

and I’ll be coming around to show you

how a daughter feels

when her Mom is in pain

and the doctor unavailable again

and her appointment rescheduled again

and I’m really very sorry for the beating but, honest,

it’s beyond my control.


Well said. Enough to make a mother awfully proud. 

Posted by miriam on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 3:12 PM
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This is really powerful, Rosy. 

I like your use of DoctorOfficeLady.  The title that confers power over so many.

Posted by Sheila on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 3:31 PM
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Amy Cunningham

i have a feeling you were a kick ass basketball player too 

Posted by Amy Cunningham on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 3:45 PM
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yes, she was

Posted by miriam on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 11:57 PM
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Power and powerlessness at the same time.  Vapid explanations while mom struggles, trying to be nice while the feelings strangle you.  I’ve dealt with an aging mother (now deceased)  and the medical/home care establishments, thanks for putting into words how it feels. 

Posted by Ruby on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 4:01 PM
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Cranky Ricky

but then again, simple is soo boring. 

fyjfy — gove us some BORING!

Posted by Cranky Ricky on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 4:55 PM
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i checked the blog page and there was Practicing,
like a present.
Pleasant surprise! 

i like the description of sounds.
i saw the baby in the womb making ready.  Or maybe i am way off.
Either way, it’s difficult desiring to help, to change things, but feeling powerless to do so.

Posted by c on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 5:20 PM
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This is a multi-layered piece of work–there’s humor in the line about “Ms and Fs and Cs and Ss and hard K sounds” getting caught in your throat (and not just because do we know of a soft K sound?), but there’s also poignancy in your mother struggling to lift her hand, and no doctor available.  My mother had three months of quadriplegia following a bad operation, so I know the frustration of not being able to help the one who gave you life.  I keep going back and re-reading this, and it keeps getting better. 

Posted by jonnypravda on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 7:29 PM
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Big Bill

Damn, Rosy, you jammed on her. 


Posted by Big Bill on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 7:33 PM
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on target 

Posted by Neil on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 8:10 PM
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There is something jarring about being first immersed in water,
then lifting one’s head above it; only to be jerked back in–no matter
how familiar one is with negotiating rough waters.
Word-waves are powerful things. Yours are proof! 

Posted by Progressivo on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 9:49 PM
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i love how you put this together, it’s hard to parent your parent, but i’m sure you do it with as much heart as you write with 

Posted by rrrwomyn on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 10:50 PM
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This could almost read as a diary entry.  It reminds me a little of Sylvia Plath. The strong harsh words work well in this composition. Interesting juxtaposition of past, and present subject matter. 

Posted by Michelle on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 11:07 PM
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I forgot to add, I really like this sentence… 

I am under water and her words reach me in waves
A good opening line.

Posted by Michelle on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 11:11 PM
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The Back Porch Philosopher

i say grab a baseball bat and go for it! 

this is really well written and i am so sorry it had to be.

Posted by The Back Porch Philosopher on Thursday, February 01, 2007 at 9:28 AM
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This is a great representation of this very familiar experience. The description of the sounds rising in your throat is spot on. 

Posted by Philip on Friday, February 02, 2007 at 10:19 AM
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You dont know Jack

The ending kicks ass…and you
probably speak for many.  This
reminds me of some of my own
experiences several years ago.

Posted by You dont know Jack on Sunday, February 04, 2007 at 2:23 AM
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It is hard to see those who are our whole life reduced to tasks and time slots. 

Posted by Mojoman on Monday, February 05, 2007 at 5:47 PM
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My Dear Rosy….your writing has been sorely missed and I was glad to find this piece waiting here. I am in complete agreement with your expression of struggle. I hope to find more of your work soon. As Always…..Most Excellent! 

Posted by Slade on Thursday, February 08, 2007 at 7:13 AM
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One Response to “Practicing: a years old repost for T, ‘coz I got nothin’ else”

  1. Look at this storm of appreciation! There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been said, except that I love it. Very, very powerful and sharp. The end is honest and surprising–the thing everyone feels, but no one dares to say.


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