Is what my mother said,
every time we raised our voices,

what the neighbors would think about that
what the doctor would say about dirty underwear
why the dinner was ready in 2 shakes of a lamb’s tail
and why we needed to sit on the davenport

phrases, which my mother felt obliged to use
but not me,

I use my own, time-worn phrases
to which my children
only sigh, and roll their eyes,

just like I did,
when I was
their age….