Mom asks, “How’s your son?”
every time I visit now.
(I’ve never had one.)

She asks it loudly
sweetly crinkling eyes as if
she knows I’ll proudly
tell his latest news:
Timmy learned to stand today—
Tim can tie his shoes—

(or should he be Hugh?)
He’ll have dinner with you, Mom,
soon as soccer’s through—
A bike, a moped—
he grew before we knew it.
He’s thinking pre-med—

(Now I see him—Nick:
he’s shy, tall, wry, and enrapt
with geriatrics.)

He’s up for a Nobel!
Mom, every day Nick’s at work,
he’s wishing you well.

—Barbara Lydecker Crane