Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

My Mum: Keeping Poetry in the Family

When I spoke to my Mum recently she requested I write her a poem. I waited for my mind to fill with poetic epiphany, or a melodramatic Oedipal theme. What I got was something simple, and so, hopefully, it is that little bit more truthful…

                          My Mum.

How to write a poem about your Mum?

She’s known you since you were inside her tum.

Patted you ‘til burping, wiping up your sick,

Holding you close, taking out splinters from that stick.


Helping with homework when your brain was fried,

Taking your teenage mood swings in her stride.

Less than patient when she found the poster with the breasts,

Firmly explaining there’s more to women than their chests.


Now you’re living away from home,

She restrains from asking how much you’ve grown.

And no longer questions: “Are you wearing your vest?”

Because she knows you have a hairy chest.


These days she sings, cooks, sews, and knits;

And exercises on her Wii – no stereotyping fits.

Even though I’m grown, life without her wouldn’t be the same,

And despite decades passing, she still says she’s glad I came.



A poem by T. James, April, 2012.


  1. Krista Walsh (@krista_walsh)

    Lovely! Verse two was great ;)

    • T. James

      *Ahem*, yes, well. I have no justifiable defence, only mitigating circumstances – namely diminished responsibility due to lack of age.

  2. Bea

    Sweet, but I don’t feel like I know much about your mum, besides the WII. It’s a fairly generic poem IMO.

    • T. James

      I guess it shows how much commonality there is between different mother/son relationships. Every line is based on an actual memory (for example, I had bad colic as a child), or a long-standing family joke (wearing your vest was bandied around when I was away at university).

      I could have written with another focus, on my mum ‘the woman’, but this was about some of our shared experiences and my memories of her from when I was growing up. It’s also a little about how the child/parent relationship changes with time. As adults there is a friendship there as well as the love, and a camaraderie based on years of shared experiences.

  3. T. James' Mum

    This is a quote from an email I got from my mum:

    “Thanks for the poem – very touching – I’m almost inspired to write one for you in return – will send it, if I do!!”

    My mum is happy, therefore so am I. Whether her poem about me will ever see the light of day here on this blog depends on which embarrassing incidents from my childhood she writes about…

  4. Gareth

    I’d worry about it TJ. Mum’s have a habit of embarrasing you any way they can, be it baby pics, coming out with statements of things you did or perhaps letting people know at the wrong time that it doens’t matter how old you are, you’re still her little baby. LOL

    In tribute:

    Mum I love you very much.
    But please don’t think I’m bad.
    You’ve embarrased me often enough.
    So I’m going to ask your Dad,
    To tell me stories about your youth.
    And when you wet your bed
    So I’ve got just as much dirt
    To use on you instead.


    • T. James

      I await my mum’s creation with a healthy dose of fear. Fortunately, I also possess the power to approve comments, or not, on this blog. *sighs with relief*

      I liked your poem, and the way you have dealt with your oedipal issues… ;-)

  5. Matthew


    I’m always in awe of the selfless patience of mothers – my own, my wife, my friends…

    • T. James

      Which one was looking over your shoulder as you typed that? ;-)

      • Matthew


        I really did write that one of my own free will, though :)

      • everythingrainbow

        All of them, men are ever aware of the silent presence of the women in their lives, looking over their shoulders even when we’re not there

        • Matthew

          True :)

  6. everythingrainbow

    Great little poem TJ. I remember when my mom found that poster of my brothers. She wasn’t too happy either hehe

    As for embarrassing, don’t think fathers aren’t just as bad! My dad rolled down the window of the car and yelled out at some random hot guy that I “thought he was cute” right before the light turned green. Thanks dad

    Hehe, it’s been a while since I posted here – the Humanity test is new. hehe love that!

    • T. James

      Dad’s are just as bad. I know because I am one, and gently winding up your children is one of life’s little pleasures. ;-)

      You know your child loves you when you get that, “Da-aaaad!” and the face. They’re SO cute when they do that, age is irrelevant. If your dad does that to you, it just shows how much he cares.

      • everythingrainbow

        That it does.

        I’m a daddies girl and at 29 he’s still doing things that get him that look hehe

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