Mom I thought of you today
while I shoveled
heavy wet snow
at first resentful
the only woman in my building
till I remembered
that photograph
I took of you outside
in Dad’s red plaid coat
and your brown beret
I surprised you
caught you
breathless and pretty
with a shovel full of snow.

I thought of you last night while
on the dance floor by accident
I tried to back up
explain I don’t really know how
but he took my hand
said we’d be okay
maybe we were
though I was worse
than awkward
I couldn’t help but smile
to think my mom
a dancing star
a jitterbug queen
even in heels

And yesterday at the office
when I passed the plate of cookies
I remembered
you explained
you had to start right after thanksgiving
like your mom
filling cans, tins and trays
with tree-shaped, bell-shaped spritz, butterballs, pritzels.
I remember the baking butter smell
before I even opened the door
running in from the cold after school
to you exhausted
rolling dough
for nut-bread, poppyseed, apricot
tears and flour
like paste on your face
because you said
you couldn’t as many as Grandma made
for everyone she knew.