My mother always said,
“It takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round.”
Usually, she said it sarcastically,
She meant it seriously,
Like when we boxed Christmas cookies
For volunteer firemen,
And city crews,
And garbage men.
“It takes all kinds to make the world go ‘round,” she’d say.
Otherwise, I might never have considered
How sewers get fixed
Or where trash gets delivered.
So now my daughters box cookies
For the homeless,
And sex workers,
And orphans … who live on a trash pile.
“It takes all kinds to make the world go round,” I tell them.
Say that again
There, in that circle of strangers,
Me the smallest
I seemed to be able to hide it
But that man, with the funny accent
I think from Australia
He knew exactly what was going on
I caught him staring,
A couple times
Which usually would make me uneasy
But he was nerdy,
Nice and nerdy,
And he stared at me like a textbook
“You know why she does that, right?” He finally asked my Mama.
I thought she was clueless.
But she said she noticed
Just thought it was me
And I had become frozen,
Wanting to never move my echoing lips
“It’s called palilalia. Albert Einstein had it.”
Brilliant! Not so bad after all.
But everyone wanted to test my repeater skills.
Was I accurate?
Could I suppress it?
Mama just kept playing clueless.