At the Costco Food Court


At a buck fifty, you won’t find a hot dog
that tastes as good. On one side
of the plastic picnic table topped with a Sabrett umbrella,
I eat mine with a thin line of yellow mustard.
On the other side, Mom’s has the deli mustard and sauerkraut.
“Mom, I’m different now,” I say mid chew,
apropos of nothing but needing to say it then.
I expected incredulity. She often thinks
I say crazy things and mostly I disagree with that
and sometimes I do say crazy things just for the fun of it.
At age fifty plus, I still take pleasure in that.
This time, though, I’m not so sure if what I’m saying is crazy or not.
Sometimes I barely recognize myself. So I look at her hard.
She keeps on chewing and I know she’s thinking
that the steps to our mother/daughter dance have changed.
These days, I call her on bullshit I used to let slide. Even her
mother-guilt has lost its mojo. I have no more buttons to push.
She nods her head in agreement.
“So you think so, too?” I say.
Mommy says, “Yes, but that’s a good thing, right, Pom?”
using the nickname she gave me when I was a little girl.

©A. D. Joyce, 2014