Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother’s Back
For some, stepping on a crack also means freeing a spiritual entity that could break apart one's family. Conversely, some believe stepping on a crack will break a witch's back or the devil's back. A more light-hearted take on this superstition holds fast to the notion that stepping on a crack will cause rain.
Listen up. Who’s been stepping on all the cracks? So much rain. So many broken backs. Not to discount the broken spines. I was very superstitious as a child. Very. I was terrified of anything that might cause harm to my Mother. A real Momma’s boy was I. I would feel such intense guilt if I didn’t eat all the sandwiches she made me. I would see her up at the crack of dawn making sandwiches for everyone. There were seven kids and my Dad. That’s practically a loaf of bread every morning.
Years later, when my dear mother was sitting in her nursing home, saying, “ You know why I am here? Because I can’t remember shit.” They call it dementia, but I blame the sandwiches. And some blame has to go to the many cracks on the sidewalks, that I so carefully tried to avoid.
I still try to avoid them, and my poor Mother has been gone for 5 years. Actually closer to 15, as those last years, she was a shadow of her former self. Still, somewhere inside her plaqued out brain, was still my sweet Mother’s smile and laugh.
And her not so sweet imperious judgement, often rendered with an acidic aside. Hmmph, ughh, and other non-language verbal utterances. Where did she get that from? And me, her fifth son? I have that rush to rash judgieness, that turning up of the nose at the same time as the left eyebrow raises, and the lips curl. Why, sometimes, even my toes curl!
I have traced her lineage back to around 1630, when our ancestor was bandying about with Oliver Cromwell. Taking the piss out of the royals, perhaps in on the plot to kill King Charles 1. Brave Huegenot stock who fled France and the Catholics, hoisting their banner in Royston.
From inside the Royston Caves, drawn by my Great Great Great Grandfather, the renderings, not the original cave drawings. Perhaps attributed to the Knights Templar.
So no wonder I get upset, bored, scandalized by this cheap modern simulation that we call life. My mother would concur. “You come by it naturally”, she would often say. That and “Close the door! We aren’t heating all______(whatever town we were in at the point of comment.”
I posted some AI generated photos including some generated from the phrase “Every Mother’s KGB”. It’s a line from my song Something in the Air.
What does it mean? You’re barking up the wrong tree, speaking to the wrong hand. In my Mother’s words,” I don’t have a clue!”
Blame it on Bowie, Burroughs, Brian Gysin. A cut-up.
A friend commented, “ Sure, the mother is the villain, always.”
And who am I to argue? Me, a card carrying member of the patriarchy, that demands to be smashed.
Smash me first I say. Bring me down. Topple me. I deserve nothing less.
For now is the time of Mothers. Now is the time Women Will Rise Up ,and smash our sweet asses. God knows, we deserve it.
Another friend said, “No, you are one of the good ones.”
I deserve to be smashed.
Me and my sneer and my up turned nose.