Mother’s Day

English: Mother's Day card

English: Mother’s Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eighty-something year old Moms
tend to give their middle aged sons
ancient history lessons,
even on Mothers Day. A word, a photo,
a memory, she dropped them all
like a cup of tea. And he picked them up.
The photo was of a chubby 5th grader,
alone, flying his crazy black hair
and a goofy gray grin at half staff,
there on the front stoop, a stain of
something on the front of his shirt.
His fingernails were dirty and
he had smudges on his hand, no doubt
from scrawling or drawing something,
from his perfectly cultivated
amber waves of imagination, a look
of skeptic wonder on his face.
He hasn’t changed too much.

Still the pudgy-feeling little guy, stain
worn like a badge of honor over his heart,
smudges of gray on the heel of his
age-twisted hand and head.
He cultivates this self as he tends
the wretched patch out back.
Perhaps one day they both might
bear some fruit, something more than
weedy promise and seedy emotion.
Farmer or poet. They’re the same
to him now. Each a singular effort,
trying to grow something out of
tiny near-nothings.
He put that photo away. Mom’s
absent-minded lesson learned.
You are who you are, kid, but you
can be loved no matter who that is.
Once again, Mother knew best.

 

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18 thoughts on “Mother’s Day

  1. Almost missed this 😦 My WP notifications are in a mood. Not getting them all for some reason.

    I love how you were able to make me feel as though I were holding that photograph and looking at it with you. I could see it so clearly. I also love the way you let me in your thoughts as I could imagine you holding it with those memories playing in your head. Awesome piece. I love it, Joe. Just beautiful.

  2. farmer or a poet…they are the same to him…ha…love that…and i can def see the correlation there as well….love your moms bit of wisdom there in the end as well joe…be loved

  3. Lost my mother when she was 39, so Mother’s Day was bittersweet until I remarried, and now have grandchildren; lots of mothers to go around. This nostalgic piece rings clarion like Zen bells in dark temples; thanks.

  4. “You are who you are, kid, but you
    can be loved no matter who that is.
    Once again, Mother knew best.”

    What a great way to close it out. I, too, posted a poem I wrote for Mother’s Day. It’s always refreshing to read something that undoubtedly came from the heart.

  5. For a moment I thought the narrator would make the comparison negative, but Voila! The card itself is being loved, and mother’s message is heard.

  6. “Farmer or poet. They’re the same
    to him now. Each a singular effort,
    trying to grow something out of
    tiny near-nothings.” — oh, I loved these lines…for creating is always the same…something coming from such small things.

    My Mom passed away 2 years ago at aged 86 and this struck a chord.

  7. I think your mother will always see you as that boy, Joe………. And you will always see her as Mom…. Life is fleeting. The love your poem describes lives far beyond our earthly years…. Your poem gives me the sense of comfort and always…… just always

  8. Superb word sketch!!! As usual you do not miss on details…..”The photo was of a chubby 5th grader,/ alone, flying his crazy black hair/ and a goofy gray grin at half staff,/ there on the front stoop, a stain of/ something on the front of his shirt./ His fingernails were dirty and
    he had smudges on his hand,” and the portrait has some lovely highlights….”Farmer or poet. They’re the same/ to him now.” what touches most is the finish….”Mom’s/ absent-minded lesson learned./ You are who you are, kid, but you/ can be loved no matter who that is./ Once again, Mother knew best.”
    Joseph, thanks for this eternal gift on “Mother’s Day”. Shall cherish for ever!!!

  9. Mothers ought to be forced to destroy those pictures 🙂
    Can’t help feeling that we all behave differently depending who we are with at the time: acting out the role we think they created for us.

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