Finally, we come to write of specific people in our lives who had more influence than most. Who else had more influence on this existence than the women who carried, nurtured and bore us. We give the first nod to our mothers in this week’s poetic prompt. (This should give a clue as to two other upcoming prompts.)


Part 13: Mamma Mia – In verse and song, our Mothers have been extolled. Be it in the simple hug and “I Love You, Mom,” to the burly football player’s television acknowledgment (Hi Mom!), we’ve always found a way to return the love so given from birth and throughout our lives. For this prompt, write something about your mother and your relationship with her.


Marie Elena’s Mom


When I was a baby, my mother was my world.
No one else could feed me,
change me,
hold me,
rock me —
No one else would do.
As a young girl, my world expanded.
Yet, I missed her terribly if we were apart
For even short periods.
As a high school girl, I appreciated
And respected
My stay-at-home mother.
Her grandchildren love her above all.
Her nieces and nephews value her presence.
My father tells me that as a mother,
I remind him of Mom.
I’ve tucked that notion deep in my heart
For safekeeping,
Retrieving it for reassurance
Whenever I doubt myself.
I want her to know – to tell her how much she is loved –
But my brain lacks the words
My heart possesses.

Copyright © – Marie Elena Good – 2012



Irene Marion Wojtanik, 1930-1986

You never slept,
always waiting, crocheting,
swilling to excess on coffee,
and searching for a few more puffs
to satisfy your nicotine craving.
Always saving everything
for everyone else, and denying
what you needed; your love exceeded
all expectations, and these revelations
were late in coming. Summing you up
was always hard, for with every flower,
or hug, or card we made for you,
your love stayed true. You played games
with me, wee hours and round after round,
I found your acumen at Yahtzee! ® or Scrabble ®
would have me unraveled when morning came.
But all the same, I am no one without your
tender heart and re-assuring hand.
I stand here today because of all you gave me!
You had truly saved me. You were gone too soon!

For Irene Marion (Kura) Wojtanik, 1930-1986

Copyright © – Walter J. Wojtanik – 2012

144 thoughts on “MAMMA MIA! – PROMPT #78

  1. Not all of us have had positive relationships with our mothers and the grief came with them living, not with their death, but finding the positive remains important.

    We are one you and I

    We are One, you and I.
    Formed of the same flesh
    and dreams, and fears;
    made in the shape of Woman.

    I inherit you and you me.
    So long in the making,
    beyond both of us,
    the drawing in of all
    the Mothers and the
    Daughters; the
    knitting of the shawl
    which we unpicked
    each night, because
    we were waiting
    for a man to make us

    When all the time
    it was what we made
    that mattered.
    It lay in our laps and
    we admired it, but
    not for what it was.

    We saw it as a means
    to an end, and
    missed the gift it gave.

    It is a shared thing
    we did not know it
    until dusk, the late time
    of living
    when the dreams
    march past
    in solemn walk
    and we see
    for the first time …

    We are One, You and I.

      • As I wrote on facebook:

        It is a pleasure to respond to this prompt, as I have been blessed with a loving, nurturing, selfless mother. Walt and I both have, and are thankful beyond words — poetic or otherwise.

        Sadly, we realize that is not always the case, and our hearts go out to those few who may have to dig deeply (or elsewhere) to find mother-love. In either case, we invite you to share freely. We will celebrate with you, or share virtual hugs.

        Marie Elena

        • So true. I took for granted that my mother’s love would always be there, and when I was 33 and pregnant again, my mother died suddenly. I hurt for those who are writing out of the pain of not knowing a mother like yours and mine.

    • “When all the time
      it was what we made
      that mattered.”
      Sad and lovely lines as are all of the lines of this poem, Ros. Hold on to those positive thoughts.

    • Thank You, Rosross – I was wondering how to express my relationship also. Best – look for the postive, ’cause they were there too. 🙂

  2. Then and Now

    of those
    days…we found
    her there…when we

    {I Love you for your Presence, Mom ❤ }

  3. MOM

    Mom, the thunderstorm, back then, when you
    said don’t worry and I didn’t.
    Mom, when my dress caught fire and you threw your precious coat around me and took me, carried me all the way home, running like a mad, crying.
    Or Mom, when some boys took my school bag and you went out there, but returned with a scaring smile saying: Now nobody will ever tease you again.
    Or Mom when you lit your yearly cigar on Christmas Eve.
    Oh, I for so many say “mission completed.”
    We’re still smiling.

  4. I’m in tears…Marie, your piece from the part when your father says you remind him-on…wow…so special…that sounds weaker than how I feel and Walt…the end of your’s too, equally moving. Such an important part of this journey…integral.

    For me, this is complicated and emotional to write about and I’m in a time squeeze to get ready and pick up my grandmother for church. I’ll be back to join you all though.

    Also, apologies for my lacking presence for last week session, the week certainly zipped by…wow. Smiles to all and happy writing!

  5. Mom’s Gift

    After school, sugar cookies and milk,
    a chat about my day, a moment of love,
    then alone until the three-course meal

    while piano tunes floated upstairs
    through my bedroom door, the flats and sharps,
    off-key notes like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Still, instilled in me this love of music
    from a young age, an eclectic mix;
    I will cherish forever this gift from my mom.


    You were always there
    when I came home from school,
    when I had a problem,
    when I just needed to talk.

    You were always there
    to make me do my homework,
    to comfort me in illness,
    to teach me difficult tasks.

    You were always there
    for kissing me goodnight,
    for correction when needed,
    for moral guidance.

    You were always there
    writing me letters in college,
    giving advice in child rearing,
    holding hope when things were tough.

    You are always there
    even though you have left this world behind,
    you are in my thoughts, in my heart,
    in my actions, and in my soul.

  7. This time I wanted to try to write a poem that rhymes. I haven’t had much success with this in the past. It always feels forced to me when I try… but, here I go…


    Sometimes when I look in the mirror
    I see her face, staring back at me
    It’s in those moments that I hear her
    Whispering… now I hope you can see.

    I understand now, what was in her heart,
    Better than I ever thought I would
    It was hard for her to fulfill the part
    That she believed she should.

    Four young children were her’s to raise
    Long after her man had passed
    He left a hole, a broken place
    To fill it was her task.

    She had so much that was on her plate
    So little she gave herself
    Her wants and needs, they had to wait
    She put them on a shelf.

    I learned that life was hard at best
    Her sacrifice I noted
    She rarely had a moments rest
    And how she was devoted.

    Her children were her everything
    Though time with them was rare
    She worked, she struggled hard to bring
    What was needed home to share.

    She felt she had to be it all
    Where her children were concerned
    And on her knees she would often fall
    Her need for him still burned.

    I learned of love that doesn’t end
    Even after the hymns were done
    Her man, her husband, her closest friend
    She still with him was one.

    And so she gave us all she had
    And still does to this day
    She smiles and says “It wasn’t so bad,
    I taught you how to pray”

  8. I’ve written a lot of poems about my mom. So with this one, I’m using the form I used for myself.


    H umble? Yes, mostly. But she did like to don swimsuit, negligee or dress to take pictures.
    E nergetic? Yes, but never understood, “Get up and work!” didn’t inspire us.
    L oving? Always. She cared for everyone she met, often writing to them for years.
    E nthusiastc? Mostly about housework and family, especially her husband of fifty years.
    N eurotic? In her later years she was preoccupied with sickness, always thinking the worst.

    V ictorious? I think she stands before God and hears, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
    I maginative? Yes, she painted flowers on papers plates and wrote hundreds of poems.
    R eligious? Both in the common and pure meaning of the word.
    G orgeous? Yes, black hair, brown eyes, legs that once won an award in high school.
    I nteresting? She was a city girl who loved a country husband, sort of like Lisa on Green Acres.
    N urturing? Maybe overly so. She wouldn’t rest, even on vacations.
    I nventive? Yes. She made instant hot chocolate before it came out, calling it quicky cocoa.
    A dventurous? Somewhat. She’d be up for anything Dad wanted her to do, such as hunting.

    H elpful? Always. Even when she was busy raising five daughters.
    U nderstanding? Mostly, but she didn’t seem to get her children’s problems were real to us.
    R eliable? Yes. Meals were at 7, 12 and 4 and she was always there when we came home.
    S ister? She had two brothers and three sisters, all but one lived in our area.
    T hankful? Yes and she’d say so often.

    S acrificial? She always put her family first. One time she tore up good sheets for tomato ties.
    H opeful? Maybe overly so. One sister called her “the Queen of Denial”.
    A miable? Yes, she enjoyed visiting with friends and strangers alike.
    N otorious photographer? She took pictures of everyone including solicitors and salesmen.
    N imble? For the longest time she could do cartwheels in the yard.
    O pinionated? Mostly she kept her opinions to herself, except for writing to the president.
    N ice? Always.

  9. “Mom’s Secret Gardens”

    She left it as a treat when I thought
    all I wanted was a story,

    The Secret was the Garden inside
    pages and pages of intrigue,

    a white-gloved ball-gown, a lilt of
    stutter, she never knew she released

    the flight of doves a little girl traveled
    behind catching the sprays of phrasings

    and metaphor in their wake, I was the tail
    after all, inhaling their labor, sipping on

    my mother’s casual offering, the gift
    she did not recognize as life inside gilded

    Her hand under a sewing pattern pinned
    for a cotton dress, a tweed vest, and the
    newest needlepoint of Christ’s cross

    and hobbyhorses of purple gardens,
    a washing of whites and simple verse,
    a subtle supplication for love from

    everyone, a drama or a tragedy, a prayer
    and a shared coffee, a dream,
    she dreamed she always dreamed

    she had a dining room to hostess
    dinners on china, cloth napkins, and
    laughter, but she settled for shepherds,

    schnauzers, setters, bald carpets
    —unconditional canine love and
    chewed affection..

  10. Oh, my, this is a deep well we navigate today. This one refers to my mother’s alzheimers and memory’s part in honoring our loves. I’ve posted this one before and truly, I don’t know how to say this better, but I’m trying to do something more specific to the prompt today. I’ll be back. In the meantime, here is one of my favorite (of manymanymany) Mama poems.


    Some days my memories with you fog,
    and I cannot imagine your voice
    or mine, as we were when you were
    most yourself. Still, my hands are yours,
    worn and busy, stained with foliage,
    and my hair, white long before its time,
    traces a gene back to your mother.

    I carry you in me, as I concentrate
    on opening earth to seedlings,
    trying to sense seasons’ change,
    smelling soil and new buds,
    spring rains and twilight,
    checking old growth bark for new life—
    all learned from you.

    I gather words together, arranging them
    like posies, pruning and shaping
    just as you taught me,
    a poem helping us share a moment
    of observance, a recognition
    of overlooked wonders in need
    of second chances: the first crocus,

    a jay’s feather, a gnarled twig like a cross,
    a stone laced with red veins pulsing
    the heart of the earth,
    a dead hummingbird
    curled like a small fist,
    lying still and iridescent
    among wild flowers.

    I know when you became uprooted
    from yourself, you longed for death,
    but I could not wish you gone,
    even knowing all I’d learned
    of pain and loss, that death is not
    the worst thing, still I could not imagine
    a world depleted of you.

    I cannot now say “never” in a line
    that has you in it. You are ever.
    As long as I can remember,
    I will feel you living in me
    and take every spring’s resurrection
    as a chance to hold you again.

      • Yes, tears — but more than that. My throat tightened and I could not swallow when I read your first thought: “Some days my memories with you fog, and I cannot imagine your voice
        or mine, as we were when you were most yourself.” Yet your memories and how you hold her close always is such a beautiful thing, Jane. Gorgeous, gorgeous tribute.

        Marie Elena

  11. The Order of Things

    Clothing, hair, makeup,
    attitude, manners and character.
    These were the things that always
    needed to be in check.

    Look your best, and wear lipstick.
    (no wonder I still iron everything and can’t
    leave my driveway without color on my lips!)

    No matter the task, always do your best.
    (yes, I am slightly anal-retentive!)

    Be polite, even when others are not.
    (I’ve perfected “tone” to make my point…
    with a smile of course!)

    (certainly made some mistakes, but nothing too big!)

    (I did, especially if I failed at #4…)

    Of all the lessons she instilled in me,
    the one that matters most was,
    Seek and serve God!
    (I’m striving to do that one every day.)

    © KED – October 2012

  12. And You Still Love Me

    It humbles me to think
    Of all the things you’ve borne
    And said
    And done for me;
    Of all the times you covered me
    Of all the things
    You’ve shown
    And taught and given me.
    To think of all the things
    I haven’t done for you,
    All the times
    I’ve hated you
    And let you fix my problems.
    Bu with everything I’ve done,
    Or worse, not done at all,
    You’ve loved me all this time,
    With a love so constant,
    A love so understanding,
    It flows from God above.
    Christ is in you, for me.
    I love you Mom
    And you still love me.

  13. Just one for now, Marie and Walt. This is a difficult subject for me right now and I’m trying hard to comply with need.


    Those who knew her knew
    Little of her heart or spirit.
    She lived between our lives.
    Afternoon naps, regardless of season,
    Taught conservation of energy.
    Woods lore taught nature’s
    Need for man’s conservation.

    Mother was many people.
    Her art began with kitchen duties
    Where dough could feast a king
    And candies could grace a shop.
    Her fingers and heart could heal
    Children as easily as abandoned
    Wildlife, all within her kitchen.

    Tin-snips and aluminum cans
    Declared a purpose for recycling
    With tiny furniture vignettes she gifted.
    Watching her paint brush flow across
    Her china and color the evening,
    And seeing how her fingers shaped clay
    Into figures, taught the meaning of art.

    Stern when necessary, smiling else,
    Mom saw beauty in other’s trash,
    Purpose in nature’s offerings,
    And value in things from the past.
    Quiet of spirit and long seeing,
    She tutored by example, whether
    With needle, herb, act, or word.

  14. I don’t know about anyone else, but it is hard for me to proofread my poems carefully and to keep lines close to each other in size. I do hope I have time to revise some more before the final forms are created for this project.

    Mother and Me

    When I was young and dependent
    she was Mommy, but when I
    was sixteen that name embarrassed
    me, so she became Mother,
    one to be respected. Mom was
    not an option I considered.

    She was to be obeyed,
    but often when she said no
    to a request for a friend to
    stay the night, my pleadings
    changed her mind
    reluctant though she was.

    She thought my main job was school
    and did not teach many housekeeping
    skills considering my lack of interest.
    I was mainly required to set
    and clear the table and to help
    with Saturday morning cleaning.

    I felt cared for as she worked
    around the house. I knew I was
    loved without a word. It puzzled
    me when a friend once told her son
    she loved him. She was his mother.
    Loving is what mothers do.

    I was never a rebellious teen,
    but as a young adult I considered her
    too possessive and smothering.
    I refused to call her when arriving
    At my apartment from dinner together, but
    now my kids call me after they fly home.

    She moved in when Michael was a baby,
    thirty-three years ago. For years she was
    a live-in companion coming home
    on weekends. She could nag and interfere
    as we tried to raise the kids, but she also taught
    them to give as well as to receive.

    Now at ninety-one she can still drive.
    It is her main way of helping. At tines she needs
    our guidance when her sense of direction
    is lacking. Her back hurts too much to stand
    at the sink. She depends upon me for many things,
    but she is still my mother.

  15. Mini Shirley Temple

    My mother loved
    Shirley Temple
    Like I loved

    Not that she wanted
    To eat her up;
    More like she was part
    Of her childhood.

    So when I came along
    With my long black hair
    My mother knew exactly
    What she should do.

    She twirled my hair into long
    Lengths of cotton, round ‘n
    Round to dry into tight
    Ringlets of curls. I was her

    Mini Shirley Temple

  16. reconciliation

    some mothers live in
    lace and photographs,
    make memories for play
    and regulate the universe
    against the watershed,
    the day their children fly away
    slick winged and innocent
    the harbingers of spring

    but this home echoed softly
    of a tragedy endured
    a second try at life
    a single child ignored
    or so it seemed and hardly touched
    as if in fear the knife
    would fall again if ever pride
    or hope were shown abroad

    so many children know the world
    to be a drama played upon
    their every sacred breath.
    In time I came to see
    my growing years were
    gathered close and pushed away
    within a mother’s sorrow
    at her beloved daughter’s death.

  17. You Shall Not Lie

    My Mother said, “Don’t ever lie to me.
    For when someone lies, they lose all my trust.”
    These words sunk in deep and they will not rust
    nor ever flake away, they’ll always be
    a part of me, this I can guarantee.
    Her words worked well, I didn’t want her mistrust
    but being young, a fib sometimes was just.
    A small fib but I was never guilt free.

    For I knew what I did and that taxing
    weight brought me down and turned my mood so sour
    but those words stuck and I find I’m the same
    a bit unforgiving, no relaxing
    intolerant of lies, do not cower
    just tell me no lies, then there is no shame.

  18. Best Friend

    We are a lot alike
    we have the same taste
    same salt and pepper hair
    same hips – a bit of a disgrace.

    We talk almost every day
    just to share the news,
    we love to create
    we just follow our muse.

    I think she’s the best
    she thinks I’m pretty great too
    of course she created me
    and that’s what mothers do.

    She is my Mom
    and I’ll love her forever
    I wouldn’t trade her in
    not for gold, nope never.

  19. In-valid

    How you described yourself, pale
    Face on a pale pillow, propped up
    So you could breathe
    Your fragile heart, fluttering

    Sometimes you would look at your hands
    When I lay next to you, so delicate
    Your thin legs next to mine – I was your strength
    You said, you wanted me to go
    Everywhere you had dreamed about

    I cannot remember the time when I was not aware
    Of death’s bleak presence lurking in that room
    Milestones were accomplished with surprise
    I finished elementary school, on to junior high
    The doctors did not hide their pleasure as your heart
    Beat on beyond their expectations

    What did they know then, those men of medicine
    Who had saved so many wounded with their miracles
    The world of antibiotics did you little good, perhaps
    It slowed the inevitable failure of your heart
    The valve that leaked. Ten years past your death
    An operation would cure all prolapsed mitral valves

    We couldn’t know it then. I remember that last November
    Its weak sun’s rays straining through the curtains.
    December and still no snow. I was in tenth grade.
    Rode the Cleveland transit bus to school.
    And back again. The neighbors, you blessed their souls
    Checking on you, bringing food.
    My father, the mailman, did what he could do. A lady came
    Once a week to clean. The visiting nurses taught me
    How to bathe you in your bed, wash the bedpans, though
    I knew you would cheat and sneak to the bathroom,
    You liked to say “Well, almost absolute bed rest” later
    The whole protocol for heart patients would change
    For you it came too late.

    You had told me that your wish was to be buried
    Back in old Kentucky with your kin. Impossible,
    You admitted. So on a snowy day, they laid you
    With my father’s folk. Close to his sister who had
    Passed away with the great flu. An asassinated president,
    A baseball star struck by a wayward ball – all of Cleveland’s
    Great lie with you there. Across from the family plot
    A hill of daffodils bloom their hearts out every spring.

    My older girls have visited this place
    Breathed in its history. Now all that family
    Lies closely encamped.
    You, the outsider in their midst.
    But bones decay. The soul flies on, that invisible
    Butterfly – its destination secret and divine.

    • Marian, this poem is so rich in personal and local history, making meaning of your relationship with your mother so powerfully. Lovely.

      • Oh my yes. Marian, every time you touch pen to paper, your words speak immeasurably and beautifully.

        … and “blooming their hearts out” did not get lost in the richness of your piece.

        Marie Elena

  20. OK, here’s a try. She’s too big to articulate.

    Old Souls

    My mother lives in my hands and arms, as I plant and tend, mix and knead, stitch and embroider, write and play piano. She guides me to good books, good poems, good people, good food, saying, “Look there!” An early iris, a watercress like a green snowflake spread across the ground, a wooly worm, a calf face to face with a turtle, a stranger’s knowing smile, a beautiful freak of nature. Wonders everywhere, she shows me. My mother lives in my eyes and nose, as cinnamon and apples converge, as small offerings become bounty, as flowers find their places in a vase where each can both shine and harmonize in a choir of colors. My mother lives in my face and hair, those lines around my eyes from laughter and pain, my hair white since my twenties, both of us refusing the dye of our youth. What is, is, we said. My mother lives in my paints, poems, brushes, sketches, remembering her scribbling lines on the backs of envelopes or making a palette and working in oils, untaught but convicted, a vision in her head. She lives in my words, observations, shyness, candor, love of people and beauty, faith in goodness and the greater than. Her body died in 2003, but she is here with me now, alive and vital, my access to the wisdom of an old soul, living in me.

    Old souls are sisters
    finding one another, time
    after time, kindred.

  21. Pingback: Molecular Mother | Metaphors and Smiles

  22. Molecular Mother

    Submerged in violet velvet
    dweller of this silken cave
    I traced tenderly purple-lit lines,
    veins of your amethyst-hued womb.
    I felt your joys and sorrows then
    fed much more than just nutrients;
    felt your emotions,
    tasted your tears and smiles.
    I heard the echo of your voice,
    the low slow song of comfort
    your soothing…was it for me?
    My first human relationship
    and how wish I could remember
    more of the all along times,
    how I hope to recall all of the good things
    erase the imprint of cobalt curses;
    that we’d revive the surge,
    motherly love to live again in this shared strand.
    Now sick…estranged
    ingrained, I still feel your presence.
    Yes, somehow I believe I experience inklings
    your passing happiness, heartbreak
    inexplicable pain…fear
    your refusal to become well
    to allow yourself to be a part of this…us.
    Submerged in violet velvet
    dweller of this silken cave
    I traced tenderly purple-lit lines,
    veins of your amethyst-hued womb.
    Your voice still echoes,
    woven into the silken threads of my DNA.
    Can you sense me…are you hearing me, too?

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2012

    • Yes, Hannah – sometimes writing is a GREAT challenge, but it is in meeting the challenges that we grow and better understand other — and ourselves. …and we learn, and make our own (better) choices within the family we produce. Blessings.

      • Yes, I hear your sentiment and I agree but also would like to add that when one is in a situation that seems that one is dead-ended in a relationship it can be extremely painful…almost as if one must grieve as though they were gone. Thank you and blessings to you as well.

  23. Our Mother

    There will never be another
    like our dear and reverent mother.
    Always there to give us peace of mind.
    Lifts us up and keeps us grounded.
    Made sure we were raised well rounded.
    She is truly one of a kind.

    Mom is such a blessed soul.
    Goes extra miles to keep us whole.
    Family is the center of her life.
    Lives each day for all that’s good,
    doing well more than she should,
    as sister, daughter, mother, friend and wife.

    By Michael Grove
    Copyright 10/24/2012

  24. I hate to reiterate Ross’ comment, but my most pregnant memories of my relationship with my mother are not exactly good ones.

    Quilting Scars

    The first square has been aged past insignificance,
    the patterns chiseled at daily by the rising sun,
    incrementally exhaling the first donning
    of my moonsilver breastplate,
    dripping from it the hoisting
    of my belasted body atop the inherited destrier
    in a vortex of metalically-tinted gasps.

    No one sews a quilt like us, such a
    glorious spectacle;
    “Laissez aller”- once again we charge,
    the joints of my armor hammered together
    by silk-garbed beats of my carotids, faithfully
    drummed against my gorget.

    The decried quest is for first blood and
    did we ever draw it,
    embroidering it around each perceived square with
    needles rising and falling industrially,
    clanging beats resonant of swords,
    upon the illiterate jeers expelled by the bloodthirsty crowd.

    So many squares to joust for …
    Here, first blood from your lance
    laced through my candid visor.
    There, a largely unintelligible chink between
    your cuirass and fauld graced by my sword
    with spewing forth its first blood.
    Dextrally, the first blood ever craved
    from my ankle.
    Sinistrally, another first blood
    (sixty-first, seventy-first?)
    from the surprise ambush of your teeth
    upon your innermost lip
    as I rudely spun you from atop your horse.

    When the sun bores of our art,
    packs up its fondness of us to spread it anew
    among other jousting fields within the bowels of the earth,
    a tent flap is lifted.
    Unable to disrobe of the armor
    traditionally welded to her flesh for safekeeping,
    the day’s unhorsed brings offerings of peace
    to soothe the violet, boiling tint
    of the freshly-tailored scars
    between your squares and mine.
    An ointment concealed between the folds
    of a new doublet,
    a healing potion swirled inside a glided chalice,
    a rare tome of mending spells,
    a new horse, a purse of gold.

    Yet the frozen night never yields to us
    and this carcass of a quilt dilligently festers its
    squares above us,
    blooming its boils with a
    chilly sort of certainty which leaves me
    searing for some warmth.
    Longing for the morning,
    the traitorous bearer of a new square to be sewn,
    another resounding “Laissez aller”,
    our needles glistening like lances
    raised against the tapestry of an expectant sun.

    © Andra-Teodora Negroiu, 2012

  25. Mother

    If my mother had lived,
    she’d be 92 today,
    and who could know how
    she’d see the world..
    If my mother had lived,
    would she be in awe,
    or, like the most of us,
    take what we have for granted?
    If my mother had lived,
    she’d have seen so many
    wondrous things, like
    trips to the moon and
    a vaccine for polio, like
    electric cars and
    a black man as president, like
    Dick Tracy fantasies become
    Steve Jobs realities, like
    Valium and artificial hearts,
    both of which might have
    helped her live.
    But my mother did not live,
    and she missed so many
    other things, like
    her son in Marine dress blues, and
    her son beneath a college mortar board , and
    her son so beautifully married, and
    her son at peace in a lovely life.
    Of course, she also missed
    too many needless wars, and
    too many hungry souls, and
    too much thoughtless avarice, and
    too much not being done about it all.
    I am sorry that she missed it all,
    even the bad, even the worst.
    I am sorry, Dr, Seuss, but
    I can’t smile because it happened.
    It did not happen long enough.

    • Oh, Daniel, what a nostalgic piece. I am sure she must look down on you and smile. I believe she did see you earn your degree and your weddding day. She must be proud of you. Great poem.

    • “her son in Marine dress blues, and
      her son beneath a college mortar board , and
      her son so beautifully married, and
      her son at peace in a lovely life”

      As the mother of a son — be still my heart …

      Marie Elena

  26. Quiet and calm, with hands always busy
    So strong for a lady but you were a farm mom
    Yet I can still feel the gentle touch of those hands
    My earliest and best memories include your smile
    What I would not give for one more hour
    Or even a minute to sit beside you and hear
    Your voice once more say my name
    The first word I learned to spell
    Was Mom and I thought it spelled love
    I guess it did.

  27. I spent the week thinking about what to write, and when I did write, it seemed cold with a lot of negative stuff. Trimmed, rewrote, adjusted…. Being poetic just didn’t work. Maybe later I can refine it, and perhaps even be poetic. I ended up with fact – just the facts.

    1922 Born second of three children
    1932 Lost father to pneumonia
    1935 Her mom remarried.
    1938 Mom married to escape unhappy home situation.
    1943 Age twenty-one, younger brother died of long-time illness, had three daughters, gave birth to a boy that died, and married to her second husband.

    Without any job training, and limited education, she worked hard.
    1945 While working as a store clerk, a kindly woman befriended mom and taught her bookkeeping skills. She was a full time bookkeeper until she retired in the 1980’s

    1953 Met and married her third husband. They were together until she died in 1999

    Strong willed and opinioned, she instilled in us certain ideas, and criteria to live by.
    Most importantly: Graduate from college, and acquire job skills that would support us if we ever ended up ‘alone.’ Next came marry, and then babies.

    She encouraged us in church activities and taught us leadership skills by example and job assignments. She wanted us to have a better, easier life than what she experienced.

    Much as she loved us-girls, she was not active as a cuddlier or talker. She sewed many of our clothes, taught me (us) how to sew, and escaped life by reading. She loved camping trips, and Family Camping Reunions. As full-time RV’ers in their sixties and seventies, they traveled all over the US.

    She, like her mother, dealt with depression without the help of 21st century doctoring, therapy, understanding and medications. In her later years, we wondered if she was ever happy. If I look in the mirror when I feel beat, depressed, unhappy – I see the face of my mom.

    • “Being poetic just did’t work.” I SOOO get that, Marjory. Thank you so much for writing about your mom, regardless. And more of it is quite poetic than you give yourself credit for. You are a poet. This reveals itself even in listing facts. 😉

      Marie Elena

  28. Very late to the party–however, I wanted to say to both Marie and Walt that I loved their poems and the photos of their moms! Such joy in those faces–wonderful. And here’s mine. Picture eyes that twinkle with delight, a mouth just twitching at the corners to lift into a grin, and let loose with lots of laughter.

    Appropriate, yes?
    Turn the word Mom
    Upside down and you
    Get “Wow”
    Wow, you worked full time
    Cooked every night
    Made our lunches every day
    Cleaned, washed, mowed,
    Trimmed, sewed
    And late into the night
    You danced
    Because that is what
    You taught at the college
    But you taught so much
    How to bake, cook
    Refinish furniture
    Load a dishwasher
    Pull the weeds
    (by the roots or they come right back)
    Balance accounts
    And spend freely
    Sing “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain”
    How to, to, to
    Do everything and
    Still have energy to laugh
    At silly jokes,
    Wrap us in hugs everlasting
    Grimace at messy rooms
    And how to always, always, always
    Look for silver linings

  29. Pingback: PART 13 – Mamma Mia! | Two Voices, One Song

  30. Pingback: Mamma Mia! | echoes from the silence

  31. Don’t worry about it

    My grandfather
    A wise man
    A tall man
    A very, very handsome man
    Once told me this:

    “If it’s going to bother you
    In six months
    Or, perhaps a year,
    Don’t worry about it.”

    Wonderful advice
    From a wonderful man
    It cut my worries
    To a manageable amount
    And I’m happier for it

    Thanks, gramps
    I’ll see you in Heaven
    Of that
    I’m not worried.

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

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