Buddy Berlin © 2015 Literary Estate of Lucia Berlin
I don’t regret my alcoholism anymore. Before, I left California my youngest son, Joel, came to breakfast. The same son I used to steal from, who had told me I wasn’t his mother. I cooked cheese blintzes; we drank coffee and read the paper, muttering to each other about Ricky Henderson, George Bush. Then he went to work. He kissed me and said So long, Ma. So long, I said.
All over the world mothers are having breakfast with their sons, seeing them off at the door. Can they know the gratitude I felt, standing there, waving? The reprieve. (From “So Long”)