The Catalyst

A Writing Teacher Writes (plus some writing prompts and recipes)

Mother’s Day May 9, 2014

Filed under: Grief,Vignettes,Writing Prompts + — Christopher P. DeLorenzo @ 1:57 pm

The prompts this time were:                       Scan 9                                                         

There are flip-flops in your future

More naked than naked

p.s. I love you

What I wrote is below.


I wake to find her there, in my little kitchen, the dog at her feet. On the table next to her, the old percolator I inherited, the long cord draped like a cat’s tail. We both like to use the good china with the little pink and yellow roses circling the edge: a cup of coffee and a thin matching saucer.

“Good morning, Hon,” she says. “Did you sleep well?”

“I did, thank you.” She’s doing the crossword puzzle, just like the old days.

“What’s a six-letter word for ‘where all life begins’?” she asks.

“Mother?” I say.

“Oh, yes!”

I fire up the oven; I’m preparing to make a cake for a birthday party.

“How about an eight letter word for ‘nurturing, protective instinct’?”

“Maternal,” I say.

“Oh! This is fun, isn’t it?”

It’s that second Sunday in May, that day I just can’t seem to enjoy, and the crossword puzzle sounds thematic, in honor of those who gave birth to us.

“What are you doing today?” she asks, putting down her pen. I want to kneel down before her, lay my head in her lap.

“I’m going to have brunch with Scott.”

“Well, that’s nice.”

“And we’re having a massage afterward.”

“Ooh la la!” She giggles. “Such a hard life you have. And what are you baking today?”

“That Baker’s one-bowl chocolate cake with fudge frosting.”

“That’s one of your best, Sweetie. It really is.”

The phone rings. It’s Scott. “Can I come at 11:00 instead?” He needs to call his mother at 10:30; she’s still at church.

“He’s a good boy,” she says, scratching the dog behind his ears. There they sit: my two favorite ghosts.

After I put the cake in the oven, I take a quick shower, and come back to find an empty kitchen. Gone again. It’s just me and the little timer, beep, beep, beeping. Just me and two eight-inch pans, filled with hot cake and memory.




5 Responses to “Mother’s Day”

  1. janishaag Says:

    Gorgeous, moving, you’ve made me teary just before a meeting… dang, that’s good stuff. I so love the “six-letter word for ‘where all life begins’.” Stunner! Love to you and your good, good companion spirits!

  2. Carmen Says:

    I love your story. It’s not overstated and it leaves room to the reader to fill in details. It’s not overly sentimentally sweet tasting.

  3. LJ Says:

    An everlasting memory That has tattooed my soul…is you and your mom…I would love to have a piece of that chocolate cake!

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