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Late Bloomer 


This sundowning day of her centennial

which amazingly she remembers,

Mother volunteers, I look forward

toward every bright & early morning.


Gerry might bring sweet and sour

pork. Perhaps an ice cream sundae

or sandwich from Luisa, Lina, Chito.

Mama’s, Never even knew you


were a southpaw, sets up

my always thrilling revelation

her husband, son & granddaughter

were left-handed physicians.


Memories of literally being shipped

to German boarding school

by a stern stepfather — shot,

along with a cool marriage


of domination by Pops’ career

then grief when he passed on

— all gone. What still remains

is the cleansed present.


Wheelchairing through the once

cherished LA zoo, snacking

like a hippopotomus

Mommy looks like an owl.


Zipping through Westwood

Village’s Garden of Eden,

both kinds of Dominos,

basking through head phones


in Oklahoma & The King And I

high notes from her prime,

conversing through hearing aids

which “did not work” for


the involuted decade before

Dad died. Happier than we can

ever recall here in the house

where I was brought up


now so very content with

her transplanted Filipino

family, vital organs & mood

arguably fitter than mine


it’s possible hundred year-old Mom

is out-enjoying & could outlive not

only the Greatest Generation

but also her boy.

Gerard Sarnat