Watching the Expert Mother

She scoops three perfect
balls of ice cream,
flips them into three frilled paper cups.
There they sit like a logic problem.
She hands out spoons.

In the park she swings her two
just high enough,
I’m afraid to push mine higher. He whines,
calls for Mary Fran to swing him. She does

and I stand back, watch the emphatic shove
of hands against the weatherstained
and splintery wooden seat. Push, arc and shriek,
Push, arc and shriek.
Mary Fran’s arms are tan and slim,
not thick like mine, her sandaled feet are swift.

Going home, she clips the safetyseats
and seatbelts smartly shut, nobody gets pinched.
The Ford drives like a Mercedes, Saint Anthony
bobs and dips as she veers to the inside lane.

The Autumn Name of God