My Yiddishe Mama

Poetry

By Stanley Siegelman

Published February 11, 2009, issue of February 20, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The song describes “her wrinkled brow.”
Botox smoothes her complexion now.
No mameloshn does she speak,
To her, that language is “all Greek.”

“How few her pleasures” goes the song.
Today that concept is all wrong,
For currently the Jewish mom is
On vacation in St. Thomas.

These mamas glow with lipstick, rouge,
The tools of female subterfuge.
The threadbare dress, the shopworn coat
No longer strike a mournful note.

Instead, to fashion heights mom soar,
With aid from Christians like Dior.
Their leisure time these moms prolong
By playing bridge and/or mah-jongg.

That “little lady” in the tune
Was wrinkled, pitted like a prune.
Today she’s turned into a peach,
The kind found in Miami Beach.

The “two cents plain,” a special treat,
Old moms would sip, to beat the heat.
To thirstiness allay today,
The likely choice is Beaujolais,
While many more their thirst appease
With gin and tonic, daiquiris.

In days gone by, the Bintel Brief
Would give emotional relief.
Today to Dr. Ruth they turn
To fathom life, its secrets learn.

What plagued old mom’s maternal role?
The vagaries of birth control!
Most likely, too, her life was spent
Residing in a tenement.

Today, grown children of New Yawk
About their mothers often talk
To therapists, of egos, ids,
Neuroses born when they were kids.

Once, moms made pies with homemade dough,
From haute cuisine they didn’t know.
They tended to become obese.
Who heard of counting calories?
The Forverts gave them all the news
The needed — mostly about Jews.
Now instant bulletins they get
From TV and the Internet.
Nostalgia blurs our backward glance!
Today, the mamas wears the pants!


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.