Today would’ve been my mother’s 99th birthday. Though she’s been gone for a long time now, I still miss her everyday. I miss her unconditional love and I miss hearing the stories of her youth. I wish I had listened more closely. I wish I could hear them again with adult ears and know who she really was a little bit better. Today I remembered her talking about going to the 1939 World’s Fair and this is what came from the memory.
Happy Birthday in heaven, Mom. May your spirit soar.
At the Fair
Twenty years old at the 1939 World’s Fair,
daring, with the future looming ahead,
you stand on a line for the parachute jump
that seems to go on forever,
with friends you will never see in coming years.
Before the War, before rationing,
before marriage and children tied you to the earth,
you dared to climb and take a leap of faith,
to plummet with fear, to scream with joy,
and embrace the sky.
I never knew that bold young woman,
though I wish I did.
I caught glimpses of her from time to time—
a mischievous raise of an eyebrow,
a little flirty and fun.
I’d like to stand behind her in that line
to observe her in her natural state,
to see her laughing and free,
when her spirit still had wings to fly.
~Elise Skidmore ©2018