My Father's False Memory of His Mother


 Brian David Mooney


She made better meatloaf than anyone,
cooking in her kitchen-Irish kitchen.
She wasn’t of the lace-curtain Irish.
She was potato-Irish through and through.
“John, be worth more than it’ll cost your sons
to bury you,” she said. I did my best.
I was born so premature that to keep
me alive she kept me in the cookpan.
She stowed that pan in her big white oven,
sang lullabies to that big stove belly.
I did my best in the stove’s slow blue heat,
stoking the furnace of my too-small heart.
How she cooed as I moved in that cookpan,
more man than meatloaf, more meatloaf than man.