She sings that song to me again, in German
( I’d rather be alone but I listen)
about a boy who begs his mamma for a horse
(Mamatschi, shenk mir ein Pferdchen)
Mamatschi, a pony would be my paradise.
Her voice scales the ceiling, trilling:
One day there stood four jeweled mares
before the house
--and here she comes apart,
her voice on the floor in pieces:
Oh Mamatschi, funeral horses I did not want!
My mother, that ungifted singer,
that unbashful lover of sappy songs.