My mother turns 78 and texts

This entry is part 12 of 73 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Winter 2011-12


her first cellphone chain letter: This
January is very special! There are 5
Sundays and 5 Mondays in 1 single

month— this happens every 823 years!
According to Chinese feng shui, you must
send this message to 9 good women you love,

and money will appear! Those who stop
won’t get anything. Good luck, now
you’re on the list and something

will make u happy. I got her multi-
part text shortly before New Year’s eve,
along with a p.s. about remembering

to eat tomatoes and broccoli and not
stress out too much, to help my liver
heal— And now I realize I’ve let 3

full days pass without doing anything
about these instructions. On one hand,
she’s always been the optimistic

though slightly superstitious sort;
and on the other, she’s never been
one to shy away from buckle-down-

hard-work. She had carpenters tear up
the floorboards in our living room,
because the grain of the wood flowed

in a vertical direction, certainly
taking all good fortune out the door.
More than a couple of times, when I

was a child, I watched from bed
as she sat night after night with pins
in her mouth and a tangle of stitches

before her, seed pearls, satin, and rick-
rack, sewing a trousseau and outfits
for an entire bridal entourage.

She texts me often nowadays, saying she
goes to church and prays she’ll find a buyer
for our old home, so she can come and live

with me. She remembers her grand-
daughter here, from the last time she
came for a visit and my child was still

in pre-school; how she arrived at the tail
end of summer and marveled as leaves changed
to rich bronze colors of ball gowns

in fall; how disappointed she was her visa
extension request was denied before there
was even enough snow to cover the grass.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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9 Replies to “My mother turns 78 and texts”

  1. She is beautiful!

    But I have a problem: we have been trying to work out about the Saturdays and Sundays and can’t see it – Sundays and Mondays yes. Is it a date-line thing, or am I just being too literal?

  2. Lucy, the text message is reproduced nearly exactly as I got it… except I too noticed there are only four Saturdays this January, though indeed there are five Sundays; I’m starting to think she meant five Sundays and Mondays! & yes I hope I get to look even a fraction as good as that when I get to that age!

  3. *Sigh* Why do people who are good and intelligent, still fall for chain letter BS? That text is a big hoax, a load of hooey. The next January with 5 Sundays and Mondays will be in 2017 if I’m calculating it right. Forwarding something won’t blip a bunch of money into existence either.

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