“A drop in the bucket”

Click here to listen to Don Share read this poem. My mother, not quoting Coleridge: Water, water
everywhere, not a single drop to drink.
“Nor” was not her style, nor was her addition of “single” or dropping of “and” singular. She added many a word to what my father failed to say, or said. This was the rule in her extempore kingdom of sentences and kitchen sink. She was well-spoken … unlike my father, dryly brilliant scientist who seldom said more than he meant— nothing token, quotable, or extravagant. Words, to Dad, were data, nothing to be spoken; to Mom, syllables strung together, each a token. My mother wanted to be remembered and quoted; her magisterium was full-bore, lachrymose, full-throated.