My Mother, the Romantic

My mother loved listening to
“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”
on a 33 and a third rpm
along which she would hum
and with a longing look
sing the last verse of “I Could
Write a Book”:
And the simple secret of the plot
Is just to tell them that I love you, a lot
Then the world discovers as my book ends
How to make two lovers of friends.

I think she was at her wit’s end.
She would look a bit sad.
I think she was thinking about my dad.
They passed like ships in the night.
She wished to be on an anniversary cruse
or a vacation flight.
She was a romantic who loved musicals.
He fashioned himself a realist
who only wanted facts provable.
I was just a kid listening to the record
but, in time, knew I took after my mom
loving love-type musicals in any chord.
From Pal Joey to The King and I
I would just sit, listen, watch, laugh and cry,
while my dad downstairs watched
Dragnet and liked it when
Jack Webb said, “Just
give me the facts, ma’am,”
and saluted the detective
with his nightcap.
A prosaic man,
my dad was a big fan.
Years later, my father
watched c-span
while my mother,
in the next room,
shadow danced with
the King of Siam.
They are now both gone
having missed out on a fun, romantic run.
I sit with my wife
watching musicals on TCM
looking lovingly at each other and singing,
“…how to make two lovers of friends.”

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