“We’re all out of Coke, Mother dear.”
Those tasteless words, so severe—
“Out of Coke.”
My goodness, the knife delves deep.

She’s slicing, slicing,
precisely dicing
A sumptuous pear
For her baby.
She pares, pauses, then pivots on me
And warns with a flair of her knife,
“This one’s for Baby.”
Then to make her point further,
She hands me another,
A bruised, misshapen old thing.

She points to her pear,
“I’ve taken such care
Cause Baby’s so special to me.”
Of course I despair, then totally aware
She just doesn’t care
Much for me.
And as I grow older, that love will grow colder.
I despair, what will happen to me?

But, despite the slight, I recover,
Respond with a radiant remark.
“That’s quite alright, Wilhelmina.
About the Coke tonight.
You know how I love them.
No doubt, I devoured the last.”
Clearly, my love for Coke surpassed
By my love for Sweet Wilhelmina.

For I misspoke.
There’s not been Coke.
There’s been none, not a one
That she’s purchased for me.
Despite how easy that’d be.

Nevertheless, I still want a Coke
And poke in the fridge with a glimmer of hope.
“Oh, Mom, is it all that important?
The Coke I am talking about.”
Her steely eyes glaring at me.
Thrusting, thrusting, abruptly adjusting
To rest on my body so low.
Her insolent words
Fiercely piercing my feelings.
But I compose myself against her blows.
Feelings I resolve never to disclose.
“Of course not, sweet daughter of mine.
Believe me, Sweet Willie, I’m fine.”

“Oh, Mom, have Slice, won’t that suffice?”
My goodness that knife delves so deep.
Poking, poking, thoughtlessly provoking
My anger at Sweet Welhelmina.
But
She seems contrite, about the slight
The Coke I am talking about.
So I sip the Slice while she recites
“I love you, sweet Mother, goodnight.”
She’s being polite, and I know it’s not right.
She just wants me to tend Baby.
They’re not the Real Thing—
The love or the Slice.
They’re simply not the Real Thing.
But I steel my thoughts.
After all, it’s my fault.
She’s never been taught to be grateful.
She’s selfish, not hateful.
No doubt she cares for me.
There’s nothing to fear.
Our bond is strong.
Nothing can sever our love.
And about the Coke,
Her lack’s not a sign
Of her lack of love for me.
It’s not by design. . .
No not by design.
Surely
Sweet Willie, I’m fine.