Jean Fineberg is a professional jazz saxophonist and composer with an M.Ed. degree from Penn State University. She has studied with celebrated poet Kim Addonizio, and her poems have been published in more than 20 journals.
She has received grants and fellowships from the NEA, Chamber Music America, The Doris Duke Foundation, IntermusicSF, ASCAP, Meet the Composer and others, and served as artist-in-residence at nine art centers around the USA. She is currently at work on her second chapbook, tentatively titled “Memoirs of a Mean Sax.”
In her nursing home garden, my mother and I
shuffle ’round the Mobius path.
I pluck a velvet leaf from the Lamb’s Ear
and smooth it on her cheek.
We sing Sinatra songs, the soundtrack of my youth –
“Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”
Lyrics that once clung to her neurons as I did
to her breast, exhausted, release their grip.
We do the Cha Cha Walk –
One, Two, OneTwoThree,
One, Two, OneTwoThree.
“Mom, do you know who I am?”
“Yes,” she says, “someone who loves me.”
You willingly accept my loving grip
by hand or mouth or perched behind an ear.
Or pocketed with your convenient clip.
Why must you, though, so often disappear?
There have been many others, I’ll admit –
a piece of chalk, a felt-tipped pen or pencil.
Though you and I are such a perfect fit,
I wish your spring were not so temperamental.
Your plastic skin, resistant to abuse,
an object d’art for such a lowly price.
Compliantly, you offer of your juice,
although it’s leaked or stuttered once or twice.
I’ll mourn you when your lifeblood starts to thin
but find my consolation with your twin.