Social Justice Poetry

gender roles poems

A Nice Roast Every Sunday | A Social Justice Poem by Donal Mahoney

Bill would come every Sunday to his mother’s house after a tough
divorce. He’d bring his laundry for his mother to do and then he’d
devour the roast beef dinner she always made for him. Afterward, he
would watch martial arts on TV. He didn’t talk much but Beverly was
happy every minute he was there. She was lonely the rest of the week. She could hardly wait for Sunday to come.

Beverly is 83 and buying that roast every week took a chomp out of her pension check. But as she has told herself many times, Bill is 52 and has child support to pay and payments on his new condo.

His former wife got everything in the settlement of the divorce—the house in the country, the cars and the horses. Beverly knows how much Bill loves horses. But what bothers her the most is the judge who said Bill can’t see his kids without a caseworker present. Beverly doesn’t know why the judge said this and Bill won’t talk about it.

But life changed for Beverly one morning when she was out walking her pug. She fell on the ice and broke her hip. It was a compound fracture that would take a long time to heal, especially on a woman her age and weight.

A month later an ambulance brought Beverly home and the neighbor
ladies came out to greet her. Her daughter, Ella Mae, was there as
well. She had come in from out of town to help until Beverly was able to get around—first on a walker, then on crutches and finally on a cane. Beverly knows she will have to use a cane the rest of her life but that’s better than a wheelchair.

The odd thing is, there was no sign of Bill while his mother was
recuperating. He didn’t call her in the hospital or at the
rehabilitation center or at home. Beverly didn’t talk about Bill
with her daughter but she did tell the neighbor ladies he had a new job and worked a lot of overtime and weekends. How did she know this to be true?

Maybe it’s fortunate Beverly didn’t mention this to her daughter
because Ella Mae has seen her brother’s car parked outside the
bowling alley in town. There’s a good chance the neighbor ladies may have seen Bill there as well on the night the ladies bowl in the Senior Women’s League. If they have, they haven’t mentioned that to Beverly. They’re her friends and she doesn’t need anything more to worry about.

Right now, though, Beverly has high hopes. She told the ladies she
wants to be much better by the time Bill gets a vacation. She wants to make a nice roast beef dinner for him and take care of his laundry. As she told the ladies, what’s a mother for.

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