Mama My mama took two drinks a year; A shot glass down the gullet— Yet hated bars and abhorred beer. Would execute a pullet— An ax, a stump—one frightened bird Was done for in a minute, Yet any gossip that she heard, Would say there is no truth in it. And on a dull November day, You knew you’d find a cricket Next to the fire, and she would say There’s good luck it brings with it. Ladies did not lie or cheat— If called for, though, they sometimes swore; Did not partake of wild deer meat— Those were the friends she had cared for. She smoked a lot, and then she ground The butts in a pale china hand— Victorian symbol she had found— The satire was not quite unplanned. Was kind, and fed the transients, Loved learning and the ancients. For she was Mama, who I loved— Who's burning stumps now, Up Above. What Is In The Ground The fence was high and hid a small yard there. Dead bittersweet led to three grey steps where There used to be a bell—now it’s ripped out, And those who want to gain admittance shout, In my imagination, I suppose. We pass the spot where once I dug a rose At Three AM, took it to where I’d moved Because the landlord thought that it behooved Him to claim all things living in the ground. Though he could not take light and air, and sound; The radiating warmth from that small place, For that was something no one could erase. What We Have Come To Now we will try to save the earth By eating insects. What’s it worth To serve ourselves such awful chow? We’re cautioned that a gaseous cow Can take away the oxygen. Must give up oil, and coal, and then Hope that the sun will shine each day, Just hope; for Heaven’s sake, don’t pray But watch the many windmills play As ducks, unlucky, drop in thickets. No matter, soon we’ll snack on crickets Roasted, dipped in chocolate sauce— They’re bugs, we’re human—and we’re boss!— A former Wilbur Fellow and six-time Pushcart nominee, Sally Cook is a regular contributor to National Review, and has appeared in venues as varied as Chronicles, Lighten Up On Line, and TRINACRIA. Also a painter, her present works in the style known as Magic Realism are represented in national collections such as the N.S.D.A.R. Museum in Washington, D.C. and The Burchfield-Penney, Buffalo, NY.