My Mother & Benny GoodmanThe Miami night, pasty and damp.

My mother drives the black ’49 Chevy to a stuffy auditorium.

Benny Goodman will play his clarinet.

My mother and aunt pushed, dropped, forced:

Jazz, opera, classic music, musicals on me.

I hated all.

Baseball was all I wished, baseball.

Mother and I sat.

I don’t remember the music.

She drove home, same paste, same humidity.

She never drove again,

Tension swallowed her.

Sixty years later I hunt for:

Jazz, opera, classical music, musicals.

A Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert was on the radio last week.

I listened.

His clarinet, clear, high, low.

Mother, gone,

Unable to see my face, my tears, my motion.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, late January 2013

Author: Gene Novogrodsky

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, a Brownsville resident for nearly three decades, writes North American border slices, from eastern Canada to central Mexico, and in between. He is one of the founders of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Writers Forum in San Benito. He sometimes participates with the informal Resaca Writers Group in Brownsville. He prefers, however, to read to two or three attentive listeners – when asked!


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