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CZ.com | Poems | The Comfort of Mothers
 

The Comfort of Mothers

We like them plump with white hair
tied in a bun;
or elegant and slender,
long bright fingernails
and high-heeled shoes, a fur coat;
we like them in the kitchen
cooking our supper
or on their hands and knees
scrubbing the threshold
or scented with expensive perfume
leaving for a late-night party;
we like them when they are understanding
or picking a fight with us
or bossing us around;
we like them tucking us into bed
at night, rubbing our back,
reading us a bedtime story;
we like them curling our hair,
putting icing on the birthday cake,
wrapping our presents
for the holidays;
we like them listening in
on our phone calls
and disapproving of our dates,
our sex lives, our marriages,
our careers, or how we drive
the car, cook meals,
forget to phone them.

We like our mothers
in any culture, wearing
saris or sundresses,
overalls or power suits.
We like our mother's smile,
her dainty feet,
her apron-tied waist,
her flat or ample bosom,
the hip she rested us upon
when we were infants.

We like happily married mothers
and single mothers,
wealthy mothers who spend
their time in vain pursuits
or mothers with several children
and no time for themselves.

We love our mothers
in every way it is possible
to love them, for every act
of nurturing, caring and trust
they have given us.
We love them for their criticisms,
their nagging, their cautions,
their old mother sayings,
their warnings and their wisdom.

We love our mothers
for believing in us, for providing
our neurosis, for neglecting us
or showering us with special
attention; we love our mothers
for becoming old women,
for staying forever young,
for the sacrifices they make,
for their selfish ways,
for every day
     and every year
worth of love
they have lavished
upon us. Even the mothers
we love to hate,
never knew,
fear to cross
offer us benediction,
the closest we can ever come
to home. Mother.
We came each from her,
and we are grateful
in all measure
for the comfort of mothers.

 

Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo: www.carolynzonailo.com, 2004

 
 
CZ.com | Poems | The Comfort of Mothers
 
 
 
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