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The Love-Making Factory
When I was tiny,
My mama left for work,
When my daddy came home;
With her hair done up all pretty,
And her makeup pitch perfect,
She disappeared into the darkness.
Whenever I’d ask her;
“Mama, what do you do?”
She’d always smile a real sad smile and say;
“Don’t rush things baby, someday you’ll know.”
So one night I asked my daddy,
As he was lying on our stain-patterned sofa;
“Daddy, does she sing?”
He had nothing to say.
“Does she sell snow globes?”
Daddy just stared at the ceiling,
Counting the footsteps of the Man Upstairs.
“Does she make bread like Susan’s mama?”
“Or does she make dresses like dresses like Dylan’s?”
He turned to face me,
His eyes choking on tears;
“Love,” he whispered,
“Your mama makes love for a living.”
And then he went back to lying and counting,
Like nothing had never happened in the world.
I didn’t care,
I was delighted!
“Love is better than bread and dresses combined,” I thought,
“Heck, my mama probably has the most important job in the entire neighborhood,”
“And that’s why those nasty ladies always look at her funny,”
“They’re just jealous that she can make love and all they can make is faces.”
I could just picture it,
Walking into that love-making factory,
A smile burning bright on her face,
As she gathered up all the ingredients she needed,
To make the best love she could!
I saw her,
Slipping hugs, and kisses, and cookies into a pot,
And stirring it real tenderly,
Until the air around her smelled like Christmas morning.
Then she’d slide in her own secret ingredient;
That sugar-sweet lullaby that she didn’t sing to me anymore.
I was thinking about all of this,
And about how my mama’s work kept people from getting dizzy on this always- spinning planet,
And overwhelmed by this forever-expanding Universe,
And about how maybe I could do the same thing one day,
When my mama walked in through the door.
Her up-do was shattered,
Her dress was crinkled,
And it looked like someone had tried to rip the make-up off of her face.
I just looked at her,
And realized right then,
That the love-making factory didn’t love my mama.