Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘My Mother’s Last Words’


No Navajo Dog today. No showbiz. No philosophy or religion. Just a remembrance not of but from years gone by.

Mothers! Ya gotta love ’em, right? And they’ve gotta love you.

And yet….

My Mother’s Last Words
by Larry Brody

My mother’s last words to me were,

“I love you,” over the phone. She spoke liltingly,

As though singing a song.

My mother was in Chicago, getting ready to die,

And I was in L.A., trying to live.

Both causes seemed vain. My mother had been

Whole and hearty only weeks before, with a

Suspicious spot on her lung, no more,

And I was in a city and a business and a way of life

That already had dropped me down for what I’d

Thought would be that last shovelful of earth.

But, “I love you,” she sang, and she meant goodbye.

In spite of all the motherly years, all the motherly deeds,

Good and bad, appreciated and resented, wanted and

Refused, I never had really felt loved by this

Cigarette-voiced, overwhelming woman.

No hug, no gift, no sign ever meant anything to me

But her own overpowering needs.

This musical “I love you,” though, was different.

It struck a chord that resonates within my body

Still. It bounces and swings and rocks like the

Best gospel song. It celebrates a whole world,

And gives a Mahalia Jackson soul to both the singer

And her audience of one. I didn’t know she could

Do it. I didn’t know she had that sound inside.

I didn’t know I could enjoy her music so much.

My mother died three days after singing that melody.

I live on in L.A. As I rise and scramble and

Seek my own song, I know at last that she loved me,

And as I feel the elation of the music, I know I loved her.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.