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Movin' On With Nellie: Who is Mother?

Posted: Saturday, May 11th, 2013

My mother was four when a man came to the door,

Like the Cleveland three and one more

She was abducted and promised candy while

The neighbor, mostly monster, whittled or filed

From where he tied hands and moored in plain sight

But though their journey was caustic and savage

Life began anew with faith and their mothers’ love

When the one, now a mother, became the savior of three

One passerby, a pilgrim of progress, did a noble deed

When he answered the frantic call at the shackled

Entrance and busted the terrible dungeon door

From which the 911 call and family life was restored.

Oh, my goodness, my mother’s start was sad and along the

Way she brought three daughters built with her courage

Delight and salt; her journey masked more than daughters

Could imagine when her marriage did not last because of

Infidelity. Still she drew her metaphoric cart along the road

And enjoyed family suppers with the Italian recipe: meatballs

On spaghetti and a sauce simmering all day; she shopped for

Materials and sewed dresses for her girls who wore Catechism

Crosses, white shoes and smiles from the Lord’s Table.

Who is a mother but the heart that shields and clamors for us?

Who is a mother but the woman we see when we pass each park?

Who is a mother but the first gift to any new born on earth?

Who is my mother but the woman who strove when pain yielded not,

Who wished each daughter dreams come true, who

Prayed “Now I lay me down to sleep…” with unending faith.

Three years to the day, two blue birds build a Colorado nest and lounge in

Galveston. She was seventy-six when she went away. . . still her daughters

Remember her words, look for her smile, and almost hear her voice;

What mother? My mother sang with the morning Tang and rocked

Us at every nightmare, every spider and wild beast afoot.

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