My mother has always stood
in the theater wings of my life,
pushing me on stage or onto the field
before I was ready to perform or play.
She has always been the one
to encourage me to try for different things.
“Of course, you should try out
for the school softball team.
Of course, you should try out
for the lead in the school play.
I was the starting shortstop for the team, you know.
I was the female lead for the play, you know.”
Of course, I know, given her monologues,
presented center stage for my instruction.
“I lettered in three sports, you know,” she says.
Of course, I know; she has cued my lines
to the point where I don’t control my own voice.
I am the understudy to her life.
She upstages me all the time in front of my friends.
She doesn’t act her age – she acts mine!
I fear she will always seek the bright lights,
pushing me further into the background and off the field.