Monday, July 10, 2017

Tonia Kalouria


Smart, dimpled, and graceful,
tall, handsome Kareem
shouts the FED EX’s message:
"MOM! I made the team."

Those plans made for law school
they now would abort,
for the future's a slam-dunk
when sneaks rock a court.

Proud Mom, nascent PRO,
– who both work without lull–
are so happy and giddy
they break for the Mall.

They giggle through colas,
and curled- ketsuped-fries.
"Now, let’s buy fancy sneakers!"
popped out Mom’s surprise.

"Those Airs you’ve been wanting,
–we couldn’t afford–
well, I’m proud of you, son!
They’re a fitting reward!"

Back home–in new sneaks–
Kareem heads for the park.
Shouting, "Don’t worry, Mom!"
"I’ll be home before dark."

He was walking on air;
life was nothing but net.
"I wonder what jersey...
which number I’ll get?"

While jumping and shooting,
his brain swirled and sang,
but with thoughts in the clouds,
he did not see... The Gang.

Bruised, broken, and bleeding,
Mom’s hero so sweet
on the Gang’s turf lay dying–
no shoes on his feet.

Thus, darkness struck early;
Mom’s heart skips a beat
as she I.D.’s her baby
beneath the white sheet.

Rosa's game plan each week's
now a trip long and hard:
Two subways, three bus rides,
one lonely graveyard.

Grieving Mom, supine pro,
still a team; both alone.
And her son's assigned numbers...
They're now etched in stone.

Tonia reads "LeBron Airs":

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Tonia confesses: "Unfortunately, violence over costly sneakers is not fiction, and not rare. They are a status symbol to be had at all cost by some young men. And some pay dearly."

TONIA KALOURIA is a retired Spanish teacher who played psychiatrist Tonia Wilson on Passions from 2002 to 2007. Her book, Aerobic Poetry: Critter Connections Collection, features humorous, rhythmic poems meant to be read aloud to help lower blood pressure and improve lung function. She has also published poetry in The Litchfield Review, Common Threads, and The Senior Years. She lives with her devoted husband of many years on the West Coast and has two wonderful sons and a lovely granddaughter.


Anonymous said...

A powerful moving poem.
We are taken into a world of joy
& triumph only to be jolted into the tragic truth of our world today...

Anonymous said...

This poem gives me goose bumps. I think it is masterfully and compassionately written. It may take more than a read or two to recognize the double entendres, adding an entirely new dimension to reflect upon.

Fai Harris said...

Well-crafted work that begs to be re-read to appreciate the literary devices and nuances. It is also a poignant tale of motherly love.