Happy New Y’ar!

I suppose I have always been lucky

***

For as long as I can remember,

my mother always set

the table with two sets of identical

salt & pepper shakers.

***

It made little difference

how many were eating,

or the meal that was being served;

even if it was dairy.

My mother set the table with

two sets of identical

salt & pepper shakers.

***

I remember the day

I stayed home from school

due to a high fever.

My dad rolled in the TV set so

I could watch cartoons,

my little sister lent me her favorite comic books,

and my mom brought in a tray

of my favorite foods:

spaghetti o’s and a side of saltine crackers.

As well as,

two sets of identical

salt & pepper shakers.

***

And the seasons passed,

and the years went by

and we all got a little bit older,

and a little bit wiser

and through all the changes

there was one constant,

the one thing that never changed.

And that was

my mother setting the table with two sets

of identical salt & pepper shakers.

***

And though I wondered, I never spoke of it …

***

Until last week,

when I went to visit my mother at

the Home of the Very Age-ed.

She and I sat in her

small room & reminisced about happier times and

family members who had passed.

And then, finally, after an hour, or so,

I finally gathered up the nerve

to ask her the question that had

nagged me for so many years.

***

Why — Why, mom, did you always set the table with two sets of

identical salt & pepper shakers?

***

My mother closed her eyes.

A strange, other-worldyness seemed to

suddenly pour over her entire being.

***

Finally, after a long moment,

she opened her eyes.

***

She spoke just above a whisper

and I leaned in close so as not to miss a word.

***

“One set of the identical

salt & pepper shakers, my son” said my mother,

“was poison!”

*

finis

for j.p.


Per the Trefological calendar, to-day, February the 1st, is officially the beginning of the new year.

So, from all of me to some of you, I want to wish you a happy new y’ar.

Your friend (in life)

the undersigned,

geo. raymond

37 thoughts on “Happy New Y’ar!

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