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…
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.