My Mother And M*A*S*H*

May 4, 2018

Today's poem is "My Mother And M*A*S*H*" by Carl Little. He's the author of Ocean Drinker - New And Selected Poems, as well as many books about art, including Art Of Acadia, written with his brother David, and Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond.

He writes, "My mother never watched television, except for the Watergate hearings. Later in life, however, she latched onto MASH, watching reruns in her apartment in Portland. The show kept her completely entertained. Occasionally, I would sit and watch with her. I loved this raucous crew too, but I remember one day feeling a twinge of jealousy at the attention they were getting."

My Mother and M*A*S*H* 
by Carl Little

Every evening she watches reruns,
Hawkeye, Hot Lips, Radar,
carrying on among tents, performing
surgery and shenanigans, distracting
themselves from war by cross-
dressing or playing three-card stud.
They bring comfort to a woman
who lives in a memory loop-de-loop,
returning each day with the best
bedside manner to entertain
wounded and homesick.
She reads Dick Francis and
Muriel Spark, but M*A*S*H*
removes her from bodily set-
backs and the same-old same-old,
theme song and helicopters
bearing her to a place of sanity,
security and special comrades—
a family to replace her own
whose members sometimes join her
on the Carlisle and laugh along
but maybe don’t compare
to Trapper, Hunnicut, Klinger.
She knows them so well
it might make you jealous
if you didn’t remember
how she’ll call out of nowhere
to praise your children.
Time to make sure she knows
you love her and accept
the antics of her other kin
cavorting in South Korea.

Poem copyright © 2010 Carl Little.
Previously appeared in The Puckerbrush Review.