The '50s through the Fab Four leaving London (Playing With the Boys)
She played baseball when
Ike made freeways, and Beatles woke up little Susie.
I'm not done inventing my Time Machine (yet)
so I can't yet go back and watch my mom
playing with the little boys,
her mom, waiting for daughter to braid
dolly's hair and keep knees clean.
I bet she woulda liked to fly a fighter jet
across the ocean (without fighting anything)
and I bet she woulda liked to
land in London, maybe eat croissant with
a Royal Guard and talk about life.
I hope she still does, if she doesn't forget.
The '60s (Rocket Man)
She was studying and bookworming when
Buzz Lightyear Aldrin roadtripped to the moon
and she forgot to hop in the trunk.
I bet she woulda liked the ride,
and the conversations would have gravity,
and I bet Buzz and Neil woulda let her
take the first giant step for humankind.
Maybe when I finish the Time Machine, I'll
build a spaceship for her; hopefully I won't
The 70s (Little Lies)
She was a newlywed when
Tricky Dicky Nixon lied about not being a liar
and Bob tag teamed with Mr. Deep Throat.
If she wasn't with Tricky Dicky Lee's Long
I bet she woulda loved to scoop the story, and
I bet even Mr. President woulda liked it,
and everybody woulda forgiven everybody
punk rock wouldn't had anything to
(which would actually be sad).
The 1976 (Delta (Little Boy Blues))
She had a kid, who was me, which I feel a
little bad about,
I bet she woulda enjoyed hopping a train to
Montreal, to cheer on Nadia scoring perfect 10 at
Olympics, and I bet she woulda cheered so
loud that England woulda asked her to be their
Official Best Fan Ever, and asked her to travel around
Europe cheering on their soccer teams,
especially when Liverpool battled Juventus,
but my Mom forgot,
cause I was putting on a gymnastics show
in my diaper, and projectile pooping on
Mr Downstair Neighbor's shiny Harley
underneath our deck.
Need to work out the kinks with
this Time Machine (sorry, it's tough reinventing the laws of physics).
The 1979 (Sweet Child 'O Mine)
She had another kid, a girl.
Was bittersweet because I just about
guarantee she woulda knocked that bird Thatcher
off for P.M. if
she hadn't forgotten to row across the
Atlantic and actually campaign,
instead of letting cheeryfaced Baby Bo Peep
Once my Time Machine defeats the
bold arrow of time,
my mom's totally gonna go rock Margaret off
her rocker; but I bet they'll all
be friends, conversing and tea-ing at
purple Round Table.
The 1981 (Child Psychology)
She played with Lee the Long, and
made another toy, a little Dutch Boy,
which derailed her plans to solve the
whole British/Irish debacle; she had
a good plan:
she was gonna have 'em talk it
out, and think of nice things to say
about each other, maybe
lay off the pipe bombs,
but it's tough to travel in a submarine
with a newborn, which is how I bet
she'd love to travel.
So it'll be nice when I can send her
back to fix all that, and maybe enjoy
a beer in Dublin with Michael Collins.
Or a tea.
Or a tea.
The 1985 (Take Good Care of the Poor Boy)
The girl played with fire, again, and ended up with
Number Four, grinning Nureyev personality,
preventing her from joining Ron and Mikhail
at Geneva Summit;
woulda been a blast to get there
via hot air balloon.
When I finish The Machine, I'll send her
back for a Swiss holiday
(she'll need to learn Russian) and
figure out how to melt warheads
into 4-D televisions and nuclear pogo sticks.
I bet she hopes she doesn't forget.
The 1987 (Kids)
She was set to strap kids in Impala,
drive east to quiz Ollie North,
au Contraire to Capitol Hill: I ran to tell her that Dad
had made her belly big, again,
here's another, a little dictator
himself, unarmed with two arms
and big stick.
Immunity for Ollie, immunization for Jonny
nixed cross-country trek for her.
You'll get another chance, Muh-ma,
once I fine-tune the science portion
of my Time Machine.
The 1992 (Hey Boy Hey Girl)
L.A. riots, Prez Bill in White, I leave ball to be with #6 boy
I bet she forgot to cancel her
D.C. trip that
she never bought a ticket for.
When I'm done building my you-know-what,
I'm gonna send her to Martha's V-yard,
1993 rewind, I'm gonna throw a 40th bday bash, for her
Kennedy, Carnegie, Vanderbilt,
they'll beg for tix
to the party (it's gonna be
at the F. Lloyd Wright pavilion I'm having built special).
Seriously, my Time Machine will have that capability.
Von Trapps will harmonize with
Abba on Happy Birthday
and she'll get a piano lesson
on her new pink baby grand from
or someone else.
I bet she'll really love it.
The 1996 (Girls and Boys)
She missed an English holiday, a trip, a vacation
by only a decade, or several.
Good year, until a seventh: Little
blonde Miss Muffet, born
in the freezing storm rain of Oregon.
British Isles on standby, still.
Crumpets and Piccadilly,
theatre and seashore,
blurring Blair of Anglers
in King Art's old country
for old men and
beautiful babe visitors,
who missed her aeroplane flight, again.
I am sending her back, soon. Realistically,
the first Model will be constrained to
roving second half of the 20th century
(sorry Mom, you'll have to wait on duking it out with Sigmund)
I'm doing my best.
The Now (Things the Grandchildren Should Know)
She plays baseball still,
as the world turns forward
(until I wind it backward for her).
With smile and verve,
Yet I know,
of her dreams to roam the open road,
fly the friendly sky and unstranger people,
to tread the ends of earth
and befriend the world
Sorry we took up your life Mom, most of
it so far.
You've been pretty good about being available to:
during your regularly scheduled hours
of twenty-four seven.
Kinda took a break from your adventuring plans
and showed your family how to lead
the adventurous life
at the end of a cul-de-sac.
Probably got some fascinating
books for yer birthday; maybe mittens
or money, a massage table,
box set of Bones maybe,
just wanted to let you know,
we know all the stuff you missed out on
cause of us.
"I wouldn't trade those memories
for all the tea in China!" I hear you say.
Uhh, yeah Mom, you don't even like tea that much,
and scientifically, you can't trade memories for
Also, that phrase is a cliche, which I have taught
you to hate.
You don't do hate very well.
Too much practice with love, I guess.
I am working hard on the Time Machine,
so you can have some of your time back.
I'm working really hard on it; I'm really sorry
it's not done for your birthday.
So if it's alright, this year, instead of
sending you back to your alternative
histories, I thought we could
try, try hard
to make some more good memories
in the present.
and I want you to visit England soon,
and the world.
Well, goodnight, and back to the laboratory.
Have a million more birthdays, please.