A Dream Please - Antoni Ooto

I never dream of mother…
even after all those cups of coffee, sugared by her stories of the South and
that smile signaling all was right.  We were a pair once, growing up together.

Thinking back after twenty years, I remember a spring day, the hum of mowers
and the air greening. All of us lounging on the patio with lemonade,
and a long unplanned afternoon ahead. Such a lazy beginning of a summer to come.

In this welcome pause, mother told us, (her children,) she would not repeat the chemo.
There, sitting in the sun, head down, smoking her last pack of cigarettes,
she twisted her ring…twisting that ring around and around, polishing a life.

And without reading our faces, rose stiffly and went inside.

for Aley Neoma Finley DeCroce, mother

First published in MindFul, 2022

From age seven, Antoni Ooto always knew he would be an artist. But life took him in other directions, at the insistence of a demanding father “to find a trade.” He found stone masonry and became a trade school teacher. Then a permanent back injury occurred, forcing a change.

Searching, he began painting, then took classes and excelled. His work is shown and sold in many galleries in Rochester, NY, New York City, Hudson, NY, and Great Barrington MA. One evening, after hearing a poet read, Toni decided to expand his interests by studying narration and imagery. This soon led to writing poetry and onto publishing world wide — and. at last, a book, The Posture of Trees. He continues to study and follow his muse.

Antoni Ooto lives in rural upstate New York with his wife, storyteller/author, Judy DeCroce.