my mother gave me words

by Maria Francesca

my mother gave me words;
not hugs or kisses;
not chocolate chip cookies
or reassurance;
she gave me words.

she gave me
the L.A. Times crossword puzzle
in ink
and the smell of freshly printed books.

she gave me library cards
and grammar
and spelling rules.

my mother gave me words
and they were latex
and oilpaints
and water colors;

they were deciduous
and evergreen;

they were solitaire cut
and set in twenty-four carat gold.

she gave me words
to speak
to write
to complain
to thank
to create
to learn
to teach
to ask
to give.

my mother gave me words
just as my daughter's mother
gives them to her
and just as the mother of my grandchildren
will doubtless do the same.

my mother gave me words
and as they pass
from her
to me
to mine
they will live

and they will live
and they will live

and long after the last breath
is exhaled
from the last set of lungs
they will echo
in her voice
and in mine
and in the voices of my children

and we will live
and we will live
and we will live...


Author's Note: *

Posted on 05/21/2007
Copyright © 2024 Maria Francesca

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Maria Terezia Ferencz on 05/22/07 at 01:26 AM

I LOVE this! It reminds me of me and mine. I was never comfortable with hugs, so I gave words instead. Always felt so bad about it, after reading this I feel much better! Thank you!

Posted by Jean Mollett on 05/22/07 at 01:28 AM

Hi Maria, Great write. It's lovely. A lovely tribute for your Mom and family. Something that is also passed down thru the generations to come. Cute. :)

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