Brooklyn beckons mum

I have a little surprise for mum.

I'm tickled pink (or yellow?) to write this post and submit to everyone an original get-well poem written for mums especially by the rather infamous Shafer Hall. Shafer is a dear friend, well-published writer, Brooklyn vagabond and the best cheese dip maker I know. If it weren't for a chance meeting and hatching of a plot that could only take place at Pedro's in DUMBO, my life in NYC and now would be very different.

Mom and Shafer knew each other well. He called on Christmas to say hello and often spoke at length with her about college football. Although I don't have the pleasure of his golden company very often anymore, he has taken a moment to capture my mums. I hope you enjoy this, mom. If only you could hear it in his great booming voice.


Oh, great ounces
of bourbon, oh
wild cat of the
Great Plains,
your name is known
from Manhattan, KS
to Manhattan, NY.

Our love for you
Is near as the burn
of whiskey in the backs
our throats.

Keep yourself safe,
and wing it back to Brooklyn
to us and to the bottle
we'll keep safe for you.

Shafer Hall is from Texas. He is a bartender at The Four Faced Liar in New York City where he occasionally curates the Frequency Reading Series. He is a Senior Editor of Painted Bride Quarterly. His poems have appeared in many journals. Enjoy more Shafer Hall poetry by clicking here. You can also buy his must-read Never Cry Woof by clicking here.

Image: mums in McCarren Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


  1. Paulette, Taryn, Thayne and all the other care givers in Paulette's life at this moment,
    It was a beautiful day here. I hope it was the same in Denver. If it was, did you get outside and soak up some of those rays? Sunshine is a great mood booster and healer! It is a different yellow than the one you have been wearing lately Paulette. Rob saw Greg today, tell him that Sledge Hammers need to stay in the shop from now on!
    I think that Foghorn, Leghorn is a great mood booster. Hope you can find a video somewhere. If not we will give Greg our copy to use when you travel to the North again. He's a great rooster. "I say, I say, you're a chicken hawk, boy!" Take care and my prayers are with all of you. Wish I could be there to take the burden off of changing those nasty dressings!!
    Love ya,
    Katrina and Rob

  2. Shafer, I love you. Always have, always will. Very cool of you to write for Mama Fort.

  3. Hi to Greg and the wonderful supportive "family" far and wide.

    I don't have to write to Paulette this week because I get to see her every day. Thought you might like to know that she had a GREAT Monday. She's been sleeping well at night and napping some during the day. And yes, she received some good old fashioned Vitamin D sitting on the patio. The recent snow is melted and the temperature has been in the 70s the past two days.

    Paulette's appetite is improving daily. We didn't quite make our goal of eating a little something every three hours, but we'll try again tomorrow. Weight is up 2 pounds and for that we are cheering. This evening we ate turkey noodle soup with homemade noodles from Brownell KS. Paulette requested a big bowl, enjoying it down to the last drop and finished off her meal with a brownie. She is looking better each morning. She laughed a lot today, especially during dinner with Jerry, Thayne and Jenny. Everyone took a turn at making wisecracks and reminiscing a bit.

    Mail time is also fun. Paulette receives more mail than we do :>) And it's fun for me to go to the mail box and not see bills and junk mail. She enjoys your cards so much. (Jeanette, your pkg. came today).

    It is very awesome to follow this blog and know how much you love and care about Paulette. She is precious to all of us. I just looked in on her sleeping soundly. God has her in the palm of His hand this night and always.

    Hugs, Susie

  4. Good morning to all of you!!! So glad to read a positive report on the healing and recovery. We know Paulette is in good hands with Chef Susie at the stove and with all the good care Jerry, Taryn and Thayne are providing. We are keeping the prayers flowing and you are all in our thoughts continuously. Paulette, keep eating and enjoying the pampering you are getting. Hope the Wildcat bag comes in handy for all the goodies. God bless and keeping sending the good news!!

  5. Hi Paulette,
    Good to see you and your looking great. Keep up the good work eating and getting your strenght built up. Been gone for a few days couldn't wait to get home to read up on your progress,sounds like your doing everything right. Think of you daily and pray for your health. God Bless you. Loving thoughts coming your way. Peg

  6. Paulette,
    Great to hear about the 2 pounds!! We have Greg on a tractor today and I told Bryan not to get near him with the hammer. Hopefully he will heal up in no time. Hope you continue to gain strength and weight this week. Everyone has been asking about you. Keep up the good work.
    Aimee and Gang

  7. Dear Paulette,

    Good to hear that you're gaining some weight. What a blessing to have family who feed you, make you laugh, and send you to bed on time (tee, hee -- I just threw that last one in for extra measure!).

    Today's Joke:
    A man went to a drugstore to buy a hearing aid. "How much does a hearing aid cost?" he asked the clerk.
    "That depends," said the clerk. "Our hearing aids are priced from $2.00 to $2,000.00."
    "Let's see the $2.00 model," he said.
    The clerk handed him the device. "You just stick this button in your ear and run this cord down to your pocket."
    "How does it work?" the customer asked.
    "It doesn't work," the clerk replied. "But when people see it, they'll talk louder!"

    Encouraging words from Isaiah 54:10 -- "For the mountains may depart and the hills disappear, but My kindness shall not leave you, Paulette. My promise of peace for you will never be broken, says the Lord Who has mercy upon you."

    Enjoy that Mile High sunshine and peek over to the west to gaze at that magnificent skyscape provided by the mountain range. Ahhh, such beauty ... and the scenery is pretty,too!

    Caring about you,

  8. Paulette,

    Happy to hear that you are having a good day.
    In my biased opinion, you couldn't have chosen a better place for some R&R. Sounds like Susie & Jerry have come up with wonderful soul food menus. She has come a long way since 1976 when they lived in Oakley & she couldn't stomach cleaning a chicken. (Boy, will I be in trouble now)
    I get so excited when there is a post about your weight gain. I am so happy that someone is gaining weight faster than me! Keep it up, girl.
    Enjoy the peacefulness & TLC you are getting in Denver. And think happy thoughts:)



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