Connecting with Mothers and Sharon Olds’s “Berkeley Café, 1956”

by Lindsey Baker  ·  May 06, 2016

Roast beef sandwichTwo pieces of bread, meat, and cheese; two hands reaching out, constantly, tirelessly. My mother made me a lunch for school nearly every day of my pre-college career. That’s around 2,340 sandwiches, give or take a few sick days.

More than the sandwiches, more than the shoe-tying and bike-riding lessons, more than the comb ran through wet hair, mothers are the teachers of all that they have learned. Sometimes from their mothers before them, but often from the world around them, information absorbed like light by a prism to be refracted out into separate, digestible colors. Mother’s Day is a time to thank our mothers for the work they have done. Thank you for the thousands of sandwiches, the unbreakable patience, and for this incredible world you have shared with me.

There’s a lot in a sandwich, and in Sharon Olds‘s “Berkeley Café, 1956” from Five Points Vol. 10 No. 1&2,  a young mother understands all she has learned up until she breastfeeds her daughter for the first time.