C.B. Anderson


Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

Our mother’s stringent rules for how we dressed
Did not allow for cavils or demurrals,
Since she was always certain what was best
For all her little growing boys and girls.

Her mind was focused on the years to come,
And thus her firm directives never varied.
The chance exposure of a naked bum
Might someday bear on just how well we married.

It would be bad to lie there in the buff
At any fabric-shredding highway scene,
But decent coverings were not enough:
Those shielding undergarments must be clean!

A visit to the family doctor was
As solemn as attending Holy Mass.
She made us wear our Sunday best because
It wouldn’t do to show an unkempt ass.

In heaven now (as we, her kids, surmise),
She pulls apart the fabric, peers and probes
To feel, and likewise see with her own eyes,
What angels wear beneath their shining robes.

C.B. Anderson, longtime gardener for the PBS television series The Victory Garden, divides his time nowadays between growing parsley and writing nonsense. His published books include Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder and Roots in the Sky, Boots on the Ground, both from White Violet Press.