In the late ‘40s when crying babies
took precedence over Glenn Miller
or Benny Goodman on the radio,
new moms sat on fences
in front of apartment buildings
rocking infants in buggies
as evening shaded the day.
My mother rarely joined them.
She was convinced they gossiped
about her, malicious rumors that rolled
from woman to woman like the L train
nearby. But she occasionally sat
down for a few minutes,
the time it took for an indifferent facial
expression or greeting to confirm
“Rose thinks she’s better than me,”
she’d grumble as she left.
The name didn’t matter,
Fanny, Jean, Connie.
Tina Hacker’s full-length poetry book, Listening to Night Whistles, was published by Aldrich Press and a chapbook, Cutting It, by The Lives You Touch Publications. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been published in a wide variety of journals, both online and paper. Since 1976, she has edited poetry for Veterans' Voices, a magazine of writing by hospitalized and recovering vets.