Our friend Marie Sinclair died last week at the age of 94. Marie lived a few houses down from the house my family lived in when we first moved to Virginia from California, when I was a toddler. When I was a kid, she was like a surrogate grandmother. This is for her.

Curled up in the corner
behind Marie’s recliner
oblivious to the rising smoke, the laughter,
the roar of the small assembled crowd
sleeping through the Super Bowl
yet winning big because my mom
penciled my name in the right squares

Crawling under the table to hide
while they played poker in our dining room
I loved the names of the games
especially Dr. Pepper
I heard them say “bets” again and again
and wondered why they were talking about me

Coming to visit
“Gimme some sugar!” she exclaimed
holding out her arms and offering her cheek
before delighting me with her hospitality:
Cheez-its and Coke with ice cubes in amber glasses
generously poured
All of Forrest’s wind-up toys lined up
for me to make them march across the table
while the grown-ups talked
about grown-up things to which I listened hard but
only half understood

Climbing on the wooden two-stepped stool
under the phone in the kitchen
a Broyhill notepad and a pencil at the ready
for me to scribble important messages

Chicken chow mein for every special occasion
Coke cake for dessert
Macaroni salad delivered
in the big glass bowl every May
for my dad’s birthday
luckily, he shared some with us

Cheering for the Redskins
in the living room or at RFK
whether or not they won
Fight for Old DC!

Christmas after Christmas,
matching sweaters for my sister and me
knitted with love
if not always fitting quite right

Casablanca Court’s queen
on her La-Z-Boy throne
ensconced in sweatshirts, soft fuzzy socks, and blankets
while Forrest wore short sleeves and smiled

 

Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso
February 16, 2018

mcdavitt

In which David McDavitt, also known as my daughter’s architecture teacher, talks about getting in character, playing reggae and Afrofunk music, why he calls his students Jujubear, whittling down one’s dreams, and the historical surprise of his beard.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-3-five-questions-with-david-mcdavitt/

annedaily

In which Anne discusses the implications of her decision to attend law school, having a stroke at her office, her return to the stage after many years away, and the influence that Anne of Green Gables’ teacher had on her life.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-3-five-question-with-anne-dailey/

5questions_FINAL-purple

sumiIn which Sumi talks about life in New York City (where she moved almost by accident), having a teeny dog (#teammouse), providing a theme for each year of her life (#yearoflaughter), doing stand-up comedy, her relationship with Mindy Kaling, and oh so much more.

Listen here:

http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-2-five-questions-with-sumi-vatsa/

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.54.51 PMIn which my dad, Bob Rosenblatt, describes his exploits in Times Square in the middle of the night as a copy boy during college and his sunrise trips to take a nap on the beach.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-1-five-questions-with-bob-rosenblatt/

5questions_FINAL-purple

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 12.28.23 AMIn which Tara discusses transforming her house into a thumping dance party, how she gets unstuck, having the courage to leave a great job, and more. Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-tara-spuhler-mccabe/

 

silviaIn which Silvia discusses her dream of flying, her love of walking, her experience as a pilgrim in Spain, how you can comfort her or win her heart with food, and social commentary in Brazilian music.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-silvia-lovato/

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 12.29.36 AMIn which Kristin talks about getting married, having two kids, and launching a business in just a few years, following her guru, moving to Boston and changing the direction of her life, the time her son locked her out of her bedroom to keep the bad guys out, watching Golden Girls reruns, and more.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-kristin-daus/

brianIn which Brian talks about collaborating with Prince, the effect that music could have on the entire world for 15 minutes, the lake in Austin by which he would like to sit but not swim in, why he’d like to visit England and Australia, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-brian-horace/

I used to be a cryer

I would weep during hymns
I would tear up at commercials
I cried whenever a children’s choir sang, years before I became a mother

I would cry reading certain poignant picture books to my kids
They would look up at me, puzzled. Sometimes my daughter would pat my back,
sweetly

I have been no stranger to heaving, angry sobs
To the kind of crying that devolves into snot and a pounding head and a sore throat
The kind that is like an exorcism

I have wept in my car
Sometimes while driving
Sometimes parked outside something I didn’t want to face

I have cried in the shower to camouflage my sadness

 

Lately
no tears will come

Not for lack of reasons to despair, lament, mourn
for there are plenty
more than enough

Yet instead of streaming down my cheeks
Only a stingy drop or two fills my eyes
Only enough to sting
not to cleanse

I envy your cathartic crying that comes so often now
and why shouldn’t it?

Tonight, listening to a familiar favorite folk singer
observing that all her songs sounded more melancholy than I’d heard them before
understanding why,
I squeezed my eyes closed
watching the silhouettes form behind my eyelids–
a turtle, an archer, a waitress serving pie

Sensing an enormous reservoir
of unshed tears
rising, rising

 

 

 

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