This poem by Tammy Melody Gomez was originally posted on Knopf Poetry.
In the anthology Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic, editor Alice Quinn offers us a sample of our nation’s verse in a transformative moment. This piece, by the Texan poet Tammy Melody Gomez, reminds us what family meetings were like when Easter was celebrated in 2020; a year later, her Mama has received both doses of the vaccine, and she and her family have also made it through the very difficult weeks of the polar vortex in Texas. Today we can see in her poem the hope that mothers and daughters separated by windows, doors, and distances might begin to reunite as spring returns.
Easter Sunday Poem
According to my plan,
I did indeed bike to Mama’s home
on Easter Sunday / yesterday.
We chatted from a distance,
she at her front door,
me on St. Augustine lawn.
Our Easter Sunday family gathering
in the year of COVID,
without a table or a meal.
From my daypack, I brought out
an empty shell with cut paper filling:
a hand-painted cascarón—confetti egg—
and gently placed it
one lone one
on her porch and stepped away,
I won’t mind if you leave it there
or maybe just smash it with your shoe.
Our hearts have been broken before
when prison, money, or unsettled rifts
have kept us from our holiday home.
Today, by phone,
Mama tells me that she
forgot about it overnight
the one lone cascarón
is inside her house.
“She’s cute,” Mama said.
“It’s a she to me.”