A Mother’s Day Poem For Days Gone By

I wrote a poem for my mum, to post on Mother’s Day and lost it, along with a lot more files and photos, when my hard drive crashed. I was upset, until my sister, Leeta said I could post this one, instead.

A Mother’s Day Poem For Days Gone By

By Leeta Chapman

1930

Left-hand small, dainty and feminine, slightly trembling

Thin golden band slowly placed on wedding finger

Strong masculine hand gently lifting smooth white fingers to bridegroom’s lips

There, to softly place a kiss

1940’s

These hands now a little older fingers not as slender

Nails neatly cut, shaped and painted palest pink

Hands that had raised seven children plus two foster babes

Nursed cherished parents, and crumpled tear-sodden hankies at their deaths

Now deftly guiding yards of gingham through sewing machine

Four little girls aged three to eight eagerly awaiting summer dresses

Seven children experienced those cooling fingers gently stroking fevered brows

Felt the bruising pressure of damp hankie rubbing at grime on faces

Hands that scrubbed floors, lit fires, soothed chilblains and changed nappies

Produced melt-in-the-mouth pastries, birthday cakes and Sunday dinners

As well as Christmas decorations, doll’s clothes little treats and most wonderful stories

They carried, held and lifted heavy bags of shopping

They washed and scrubbed at dirty clothes

Lifted scorching flat irons popping with testing spittle

Hands that had a few more lines but still had many miles to go

1980’s

The hands, now resting quietly on sheets that are tidily turned down are once again pale and slender

Fingernails now longer, shapelier, and painted coral pink.

But the years have taken their toll

Knuckles enlarged, lopsided, twisting fingers into obscene shapes

Still proudly feminine and bearing the wedding band placed there over half a century ago

Placed there by the strong, masculine, hand that still holds the aged hand of my mother.

The last time I saw those hands they were finally resting.

Arthritic fingers, nails still coral pink, gently holding a crucifix.

But no doubt, somewhere already, they were busily making, doing, or mending something.

 

  • Ron

    Babs, this poem is absolutely beautiful! That last part brought tears to my eyes. Please tell your sister I said, well-written!

    Have a lovely Sunday, my friend!
    X to you and Mo

  • That’s beautiful, Babs. And of course, I can’t help thinking of my own mother while reading it. Though she only raised three children and seldom wore nail varnish (not allowed in her line of work), she did all those other things. Always busy when we were young, and made a beautiful knitted doll only months before she died aged ninety-one.

    Mothers Day is tough. But we can honour our mothers this way, can’t we?

    • I hated Mothers Day, for years. It might have been better if I’d had children, but Mothers Day was totally focussed around my mum, which made it hard. I’m OK with it now, though.

  • This is spot on. Moms are very precious and they do so very much. My mother was a gem and I sure wish I could tell her so one more time.

    Have a fabulous day Babs. Hugs to you both. ???

  • So sweet and on the money! I miss my mama, too. There’s so much I would still like to share with her, ask her. I see something and think “Mom would like that”.

    • I don’t think we ever stop that. It’s been 31 years and we’re still saying things like that 🙂

  • ReformingGeek

    What a nice tribute to your mom and all moms. They certainly are a treasure.

  • Oh WOW… that made me completely choke up… like BIG TIME. How beautiful… and how true of all loving mothers!

  • And I a m sobbing! SOBBING. That was beautiful!